Pakhonde Ethno Music Festival debuts this year

Mathews Mfune

Music Crossroads Malawi’s Creative Training Campus has said it was ready to host its first ever Pakhonde Ethno Music Festival to be held at Chingalire Cultural Centre in Lilongwe from May 27 to 29 2022.

Designed and managed by Music Crossroads Malawi in collaboration with Chingalire Cultural Centre and The Festival Institute, the three-day cultural explosion is a multi-disciplinary celebration of indigenous music from Malawi and around the world.

A press statement from Music Crossroads Malawi says the Pakhonde Ethno Music Festival was developed out of three existing programmes namely Ethno Malawi Music Camp, part of a global series of Ethno Camps hosted by Music Crossroads International; Musicians and Volunteers Exchange Programme (Move) and Creative Training Campus.


Music Crossroads Malawi Director Mathews Mfune said Monday that the festival was combining aspects and features from the parent programmes.

“Pakhonde Ethno Music Festival is designed to provide skills and economic sustenance through its creation, overall positively contributing to Malawi’s creative economy through its many activities. This is an annual event that also aims to be a leader in social activism, with its inaugural theme being Preserving Africa under this umbrella, our two focus areas are Environmental Conservation and Cultural Preservation,” Mfune said.

“During the three days of the event, attendees should expect a wide range of activities and experiences, tailored to suit people of all kinds and persuasions. This is a family-friendly event and this festival is curated to bring variety, entertainment, and captivate the imagination by presenting matters of social concern to the forefront through its activities,” Mfune added.


He said some of the stages that will be part of the festival include The Pabwalo Main Stage, which will host a variety of acts including traditional music played by artists from around the world, The Paseli Alternative Music Stage which will provide electro-fusion sounds for the more experimental musical ear, The Pamsika Artisan, which will host a crafts market and sustainable fashion exhibitions, as well as live art installations and then Pamudzi Food Garden which will offer a variety of indigenous foods, and conversations on permaculture and food sustainability.

“We are not just any other festival; we are unique and have other zones such the Pachulu —Leo Amphitheatre Stage and Pakwathu Eco Campsite—as well as Pamchenga Kids Nature Adventure and Pamthunzi Multimedia Zone. We look forward to a successful festival. It is an ambitious undertaking and our students are excited to begin applying their project management knowledge, gained from their Cultural Management Training workshops, to real-life projects,” Mfune said.

Meanwhile, musician Ben Mankhamba, who is also Village Head Chingalire, said the community had welcomed the festival.

We are excited to not only experience art from all over the world, but to also share our culture and traditions with the world,” he said.

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