Storyteller Muti Phoya in Urban Festival 2020 panel


The country’s storyteller Muti Michael Etter- Phoya will sit on the panel of a session called ‘Re-imagining our narrative” at the Urban Festival 2020.

The Urban Festival is a series of virtual engagements hosted by South African Cities Network (SACN), Civic Tech Innovation Network (CTIN), The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA), Open Cities Lab (OCL), Wits Journalism and Media Lab (Jamlab), Our Future Cities (OFC), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and others.

The festival started on October 1 and will run up to October 31, 2020 culminating on World Cities Day.


Etter-Phoya’s session will take place today from 16:30 – 18:00 Central African Time and it is open to everyone across the world and people can register at

The session hosted by Noni Khumalo also features other guests – Coumba Toure from Senegal, Anirban Dutta from India with music from Pilani Bubu.

A press statement says this year’s festival has been themed ‘Empowering the Civic’.


According to organisers, it is an exploration into how the physical and virtual world can be harnessed to engage people in re-imagining and shaping their own cities, both in these strange and uncertain Covid-19 pandemic times, and into the future.

Etter-Phoya is a storyteller committed to the development and promotion of sustainable knowledge-based platforms that emphasise openness of data.

The storyteller is committed to producing and using high quality research to contribute to improvements in public systems that result in more equitable and open societies.

He is set to present and sit on a panel in a session titled ‘Urban Jam Café 2: Re-imagining new narratives’.

“The session will engage with the role of narratives in the imagination of the future of cities, of human society and how we live and inter-mingle with each other, technology and the planet,” Etter-Phoya said.

He said during the panel, he will particularly focus on the need for African cities to own and centralise “our narratives in our plans for the future”.

Etter-Phoya also said he will empahsise on the need of an inclusive-memory making, and the sustainable protection of our memories.

With a Masters Degree in Data Science, Technology and Innovation from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, Etter- Phoya combines expertise in social history and digital data curation in the promotion of Malawi.

He is the founder and chief product officer of Logos Open Culture, an entity at the intersection of computational technology, and the arts and cultural heritage.

Some of its projects they have worked on include books Lomathinda: Rose Chibambo Speaks by Timwa Lipenga, Malawi, A Place Apart by Asbjorn Eidhammer and the digital portal ‘Malawian (Hi) stories and the Medical Humanities, a repository for Arts, Humanities and Health Resources in collaboration with Chisomo Kalinga and the University of Edinburgh.

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