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Tumaini Festival founder eyes 2022

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Tumaini Festival Founder Menes la Plume real name, Tresor Mpauni, has said the 2021 event was a success because artists put up ‘great’ performances.

The annual free-of-charge festival held at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa District, started on Thursday before officially being opened by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi.

The festival attracted 100 artists from different disciplines including music, poetry, theatre, traditional dances and visual arts.

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“It was not easy to put up this year’s festival because of funding but regardless the challenges, artists accepted to be part of this event. We received so many requests from artists and we turned down some of them, not that we didn’t want them but we just could not manage,” Menes said.

He said apart from music, people also got a chance to sample poetry, theatre and traditional dances in poetry and theatre corners as well as Cultural Ground.

“This year we tried to strive for quality and also balance between veteran and up-and-coming artists. We also made sure we bring artists from all the corners of the country. For instance, we had Lusubilo all the way from Karonga and Sindi from Mzuzu,” Menes said.

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The festival returned this year after a one-year hiatus due to Covid.

“Covid has taught us that we need to value each other and make sure that we show love for each other. Tumaini in Swahili means hope and so, this festival is for humanity and it is there to show love and that is why it is free and accommodates people from Malawi and other countries,” Menes, who is also a poet, said.

He then announced that next year’s event will take place on November 3 to 6.

Renowned singer and guitarist Erik Paliani, who is based in Mchinji District, said everything went perfect.

“A few issues just to do with sound on the main stage but overall everything was okay. I used the platform to present jazz. It was challenging, being a different audience but I managed,” Paliani said.

He also said there is talent at Dzaleka, as observed from the many artists who performed.

“Music is a language that everyone understands and so, I appeal to musicians to be open minded and explore,” the guitarist, who used to star with South Africa’s jazz maestro Hugh Masekela, said.

Youthful musician Eli Njuchi was also part of the line-up and performed on the last day. He was a centre of attraction from the massive audience, with many singing along to his songs.

“The audience showed me love and what more can I say rather than thank you Dzaleka for the love and for me this was the first time to perform here,” Njuchi said.

Apart from Njuchi and Paliani, some of the acts on the music menu included Shammah Vocals, Daughters Band, Kefasi, Soul Raiders, Ritaa, Keturah, Lazarus Chigwandali and Rudo Mkukupa Chakwera.

There were also theatrical acts such as MutiArts, a healing performance presented by artists from Malawi and Zimbabwe.

“This is an exciting festival full of life with different artistic disciplines. I enjoyed the food such as chapatti and seeing how our friends here live. Music, theatre, poetry of course they have room for improvement,” Gilbert Kamanga from Lilongwe, said.

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