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Ntchisi in Rhythms of Rain Forest Fest

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In March this year, Ntchisi District came to the limelight when it hosted the Ethno Music Camp driven by Music Crossroads Malawi and ethno-musician, Charles Chavalamangwere Mkanthama.

The Ethnomusic Camp debuted last year and this year it was much bigger as it also attracted the presence of the Talent 2016 team featuring young talents from Malawi, Kenya and Norway.

But the district, which is home to former vice president, Justin Malewezi, seems to be growing its base as far as the creative world is concerned.

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And so apart from the Ethnomusic Camp, the district last year also hosted a festival – Rhythms of Rain Forest-that is not that popular but is surely making positive steps.

The festival that is held at Ntchisi Forest Lodge returns once again this year and will be held this weekend.

One of the organisers, Menes la Plume, who is also the brains behind the free Tumaini Festival held at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa in November, said this is an annual festival that people in Ntchisi have to get used.

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“This is an annual festival and is presented by Ntchisi Forest Lodge. I am producing it this year and hope to do it next year as well,” he said.

Rhythms of Rain Forest Festival starts tomorrow through to Sunday.

Menes, who is a poet, said these festivals give people a chance to watch some of the artists they listen to their music on the radio live.

And true to his words, Nkhota-kota District also had its own festival – Nkhota-kota Festival that has also expanded itself.

But how rich is this festival?

“This festival is unique in that it happens in the only remaining rain forest in Malawi. All the performances will be happening in different areas of the forest to make the audience feel the nature,” Menes said.

Some of the artists set to perform at the festival include Waliko Makhala, Rebecca Mwalwenje, who used to star with Lusubilo Band, Amahoro Drummers, Neil Nayar and Gasper Nali.

Nkhata Bay-based Gasper Nali whose talent might not be that popular to many people started performing longtime ago until five years ago when a video of his music titled ‘Abale Ndikuuzeni’ was posted on YouTube.

The video attracted 95,000 views.

The video remained on YouTube for some time until recently when it was reposted and this time around, it went on to attract more views.

Nali plays the big one stringed guitar known as the Babatoni.

“We just want to call upon people to be part of this festival and as I said it is very unique,” said Menes, who will also perform at the festival.

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