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Tumaini Festival back November

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The free Tumaini Festival, which is an annual music and cultural festival held at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa, will this year take place on November 5.

The festival which started in 2014 is organised by Tumaini Letu, a Dzaleka-based organisation that promotes cultural exchange among refugees and Malawians.

According to founder of the event, Menes la Plume, real name Trésor Nzengu Mpauni, who is a Congolese slam poet, said all is set for the festival this year and that the preparations are at an advanced stage.

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Menes, who came to Malawi in 2008 as a political refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, said the festival is aimed at bringing joy and hope to refugees, hence the name ‘Tumaini,’ a Swahili word which means ‘Hope’.

“Last year, the festival attracted a lot of people and we had several performances. Through this festival, we are also promoting the refugee camp as a place of unity, peace, coexistence and harmony,” said the poet, who also launched his album last year.

“As usual, the festival this year will start in the morning through to the afternoon and will feature various acts from around the world, notably from Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Zambia,” he said.

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Menes added that people attending the festival will experience music performances, poetry, comedy, film, theatre, acrobatics, traditional dances, traditional food and art exhibitions.

He also revealed that the 2016 edition of the festival will also act as a fundraiser for the construction of the Tumaini Art and Cultural Centre at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.

“The building project will start in mid April 2017 through to October 2017. Upon completion, the art and cultural centre is expected to provide youths from Dzaleka and host communities with space and facilities to improve their arts,” he said.

Some of the artists that performed at the festival last year include Lawi, Faith Mussa, Young Chilaga, George Kalukusha and Amahoro Drummers.

Menes said for the two previous editions over 7,000 people have attended the festival.

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