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Pakhonde now Ethno Malawi

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The Pakhonde Music Camp, spearheaded by Music Crossroads Malawi, has rebranded to Ethno Malawi.

Music Crossroads Malawi Director, Mathews Mfune, confirmed yesterday, saying the rebranding has come up following their connection with their parent organisation.

“Our parent organisation is Jeunesses Musicales International (JMI). Every country runs using its name and so we had to rebrand from Pakhonde Music Camp to Ethno Malawi just like other countries,” Mfune said.

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Ethno is Jeunesses Musicales International’s (JMI) programme for folk, world and traditional music.

Founded in 1990, it targets young musicians (13-30) with a mission to revive and keep alive global cultural heritage.

Present in over 13 countries including Malawi, Ethno engages young people through a series of annual international music camps, as well as workshops and concerts, working together with schools, conservatories and other groups of youth to promote peace, tolerance and understanding.

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Meanwhile, JMI has released an Ethno booklet 2018 which indicates that the Ethno Malawi will be held on April 2 to 7 in Mchinji.

Mfune said, this year, the Ethno Malawi will be held in Mchinji, shifting from Ntchisi where the Pakhonde Ethno-music Camp has been held for two years.

“This year, we are holding it in Mchinji because of space. In Ntchisi, we had problems with issues of accommodation. But, again, we will be asking districts which are willing to host the Ethno Malawi,” he said.

In Ntchisi, the Pakhonde Ethno-music camp was held at Search Private School where renowned ethno-musician Charles Chavalamangwere Mkanthama teaches and practices his art.

Mfune said Pakhonde Ethno-music camp idea was hatched by him and Mkanthama, having noticed that the art of playing ethno-music instruments was on a decline and that there were few initiatives done to ensure that the skill and practice of ethno-music is passed down through generations.

The 2018 booklet has the Ethno 2018 calendar which includes activities from other countries.

The list, among others, has information for Ethno Algeria, Ethno Uganda, Ethno Catalonia, Ethno England, Ethno Brazil, Ethno Cyprus and Ethno Croatia.

According to the programme for Ethno Malawi, the event is expected to bring artists from Malawi and other countries.

The booklet further said the Ethno Malawi is filled with traditional music, instruments and food and that it brings together different traditional music and instruments to produce a new feel of music from different origins.

The camp seeks to celebrate the world’s cultural diversity.

Mfune said, for the past two years, the Ethno Malawi (Pakhonde Music Camp) has provided a unique platform for the fusion of Brazilian, Malawian, Mozambican, Norwegian and Kenyan cultures and an opportunity to learn different traditional musical instruments.

The booklet also indicates prices for the Ethno Malawi with K100,000 for international participants and K50,000 for local participants.

“The ethno-music camp is meant to be a medium to encourage cultural exchange in the field of traditional music with different countries and this is why we normally have friends from other countries such Norway, Brazil and Mozambique,” Mfune said.

During the camp, workshops are held on different subjects.

Some of the traditional instruments that members are taught during the workshops include Kaligo, Mbira, Visekese and Phenenga.

Mfune said the camp also involves the community.

“The initiative should be supported as it is part of promoting technical skills in the field of ethno-music especially to the youth as a means of sustaining the practice,” he said.

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