Women creatives in Artsikana conversations
Women creatives on Sunday held the inaugural Artsikana Conversations at Kayesa Creative Centre in Mchinji as part of commemorating International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8.
Artsikana was hosted by Wala Africka, a travel and lifestyle magazine that seeks to curate and document Africa’s destinations and people.
Founded by Lomuthi Andersen and Lulama Njapa, it is registered in Malawi and South Africa and will be launching soon.
“We worked in partnership with Tamba Africa and Muthi Arts. The day was about celebrating female creatives, especially those from Malawi. Our conversations were not about what we want men to do for women to experience equity, but we wanted to talk about what we can do to achieve equity,” Lomuthi said.
She said they talked about the kind of support “we can offer each other as female creatives in order to thrive”.
“We questioned some media interviewing techniques that seem to affect women but not men. “Who are you currently dating?” or “people are talking about the way you dress” and even “are you dating that producer etc”, Lomuthi said.
She said that female creatives want to be asked questions that men are asked.
“The conversations became emotional because these are real people with real problems and they were relieved to find a safe space to talk. The event was a success and we are looking forward to the next one,” Lomuthi said.
She added that they also invited girls from in and around Mchinji and that they had dancers from Mchinji Secondary School and a drama group called Artworks, among others.
The four panellists during the conversations included Maria Thundu (photographer), Nyago (musician), Kim of Diamonds (musician) and visual artist Evelyn Chisambiro.
The other creatives who were part of the session included musician Hazel Mak, who is based in the United Kingdom, visual artist Lerato Honde and musicians Maggie Kadrum and Temwah.
Nyago described the platform as amazing and that they had time to share ideas.
“We had time to engage youths, especially girls, in art, to inspire them. The name Wala Africka (shine Africa) speaks for itself. It is time for Africa to shine and, so, let us shine together,” she said.
Nyago, who has embraced traditional music with a fusion of the healing dance Vimbuza, said they cried, laughed, hugged, ate and that they had deep conversations.
“It actually motivated me to not give up on my project of going to schools and talking to girls,” she said.
Hazel Mak, who has just released a single titled ‘Saka Saka’ featuring Deep House DJ and producer M Patrick, said the session was important in sharing their voices.
“It is very important to have more platforms that celebrate women and amplify their voices,” the Afrima award-winning artist said.