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Poetry on the move

CHIWAMBA —It has been difficult for us to earn trust

Barely a month after securing a piece of land for construction of its offices through an agreement with Innobuild, Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) has entered into a partnership with Crown Lodge in Lilongwe.

Following the partnership, Crown Lodge has given Pam a room which the poetry body will use as their offices.

Pam President Robert Chiwamba said Monday they are rebranding as an association so as to win the hearts of organisations and companies out there.

“This is not the first time for Crown Lodge to help us. As we speak, Central Region chapter conducts its monthly meetings there for free as well. It has been difficult for us to earn trust from players since we didn’t have offices but now we are moving in the right direction,” Chiwamba said.

He also said they would be holding their annual general meeting (AGM) at Crown Lodge at a subsidised rate.

It has been tough for most arts associations, who are operating without proper offices and, for a long time, some of them have been lobbying the government through Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife to accommodate them at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC).

However, BCC, formerly French Cultural Centre, is still in a sorry state following its ransacking in 2011 and rehabilitation works have been moving at a snail’s pace.

In the past, arts associations used to have offices at Claim Mabuku in Blantyre but this move was being supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy through Cultural Support Scheme which phased out.

In another development, Chiwamba said they were setting up a University Students Poetry Movement with the aim of growing poetry.

“Poetry Association of Malawi strongly believes in education and encourages its members, whenever they can to continue with their education.

“We further believe that tertiary institutions are bedrocks for poetry, as most of them produce decision-makers and independent citizens, who if we begin to nurture them now, will support Pam for the rest of their lives,” the Pam leader said.

He said, through the movement, they were hoping to establish structures in institutions where the registered members are pursuing studies.

“We will also be doing something in primary and secondary schools and, in the end, we hope to have activities for the movement,” he said.

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