In the past, Malawi used to join the rest of the world in celebrating World Music Day on June 21 every year. Almost always, French Cultural Centre (FCC), now Blantyre Cultural Centre, used to be the venue for the event.
Since the closure of the once mighty entertainment Mecca in 2011, however, the country has not celebrated music on June 21.
French Honorary Consul to Malawi, Luc Deschamps, who has played a crucial role in putting up Jacaranda Cultural Centre, at Mandala, in Blantyre—which has been active in terms of hosting different events— said recently that they may consider reviving the trade so as to be celebrating music.
Some of the shows during World Music Day, known in French as Fete de la Musique, used to be held at The Warehouse in Blantyre. That ended when the venue was gutted by fire.
With FCC, the day used to be decorated with, among other activities, free shows where people had an opportunity to watch some of their favourite musicians.
This was also a platform organisers would speak highly about the importance of music while other organisations would take advantage of the event to disseminate various messages using musicians.
Last year, the day passed without any activities in the country although some artists normally embark on their own initiatives.
Musicians Union of Malawi President, Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango, once said they were looking at the possibility of putting the day on their calendar of events.
“I know that we, as Mum, have not been doing anything but we are looking into it [the issue] because, as musicians, music is our food. As such, we need to celebrate the World Music Day,” Mhango said.
Fête de la Musique, also known as Make Music Day or World Music Day, is an annual music celebration held on June 21.
The concept of an all-day musical celebration on the days of the solstice originated from French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang. The festival later became celebrated in 120 countries around the world.
Fête de la Musique encourages and professional musicians to perform in the streets, under the slogan “Faites de la musique” [make music, a homophone of Fête de la Musique).
And, so, while Malawi has been silent, other countries have been on song, giving music the platform it deserves.
In Hannover, Germany, Malawian musicians Patience Namadingo and Princess Chitsulo shared the stage with musicians such as Maharaj Trio from Unesco City of Music Varanasi and Crawford Mac from Unesco City of Music Glasgow, entertaining people with their music during the Fete de la Musique Festival.
“I am excited to be part of this festival. I have interacted with several acts and have also trained with a group known as Makatumbe,” Chitsulo said ahead of the festival on June 21.
The Fete de la Musique Festival in Hannover coincided with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the twinning of Blantyre and Hannover.
“Blantyre City has a street named after Hannover and this remains a symbol of our sister relationship. It is our hope that, as we move forward, we will extend these exchanges to several sectors including arts and culture. I am happy that we have Princess Chitsulo and Patience Namadingo participating in the Fete de la Musique Festival,” Wild Ndipo, Blantyre City Mayor, said.
Music, as well as other art fields, will remain part of our lives as it is used as a vehicle for disseminating information on various issues.
Former Blantyre City Mayor, Noel Chalamanda, said recently, during the launch of a music documentary by musician Fredokiss, that music should be in the hands of the youth, “where it belongs”.
“Music is not just sound, it is a powerful tool of communication; it can make or break. It can start wars, it can bring love and all this depends on how you handle it,” Chalamanda said.
Quotes from renowned
MUSICIANS on World Music Day
The World Music Day is celebrated on June 21 every year and we give you some of the quotes by IBTimes from some renowned figures coming from all walks of life – from musicians to philosophers and politicians.
Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent -Victor Hugo, French poet, novelist and dramatist
One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain-Bob Marley, Reggae singer
Where words fail, music speaks—Hans Christian Anderson, children’s book author
Music can change the world because it can change people – Bono, singer
Lean your body forward slightly to support the guitar against your chest, for the poetry of the music should resound in your heart – Andres Segovia, Spanish classical guitarist
Without music, life would be a mistake – Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us-Martin Luther, German professor of theology, composer and monk
I don’t make music for eyes. I make music for ears – Adele, singer
Music is everybody’s possession. It’s only publishers who think that people own it – John Lennon, musician
Music is the strongest form of magic– Marilyn Manson, musician
Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music–Jimi Hendrix, musician
The world’s most famous and popular language is music -Psy, music artist
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