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Zimbabwe group to miss Nasfest

By Sam Banda Jnr:

FLASHBACK—Kitchen (left) presents a trophy to the winners

Zimbabwean group Chipawo will not make it to the National Schools Youth Arts Festival (Nasfest) scheduled for this weekend in Lilongwe.

Nasfest, spearheaded by Light of Youth Creative Organisation (Lyco), will open its activities at Madsoc Theatre on Friday before moving to Bingu International Convention Centre with more activities on Saturday and Sunday.

“Chipawo has communicated to us that they are not coming. They tried but they have failed due to the situation in Zimbabwe,” Lyco Executive Director, James Kitchen, said Tuesday.

The development comes barely a week after Nasfest expressed concern with the protests in Zimbabwe.

He said they would have loved to have the group from Zimbabwe to add colour to Nasfest.

“All the same, the festival has to go on. We have a group from Zambia coming tomorrow and we will also have all local acts billed to perform,” Kitchen said.

This year will see Nasfest celebrating 10 years since its inception.

“Having been on the ground for years, it is now time to take another huge step and that is going international,” Kitchen said.

With festivals struggling in terms of funding, Kitchen insisted they are serious with their activities and that they have a team capable of delivering results.

During the festival, several activities take place. They include trainings, schools’ drama competition, short stories, poetry, music, dances and awards.

Some of the acts set to perform at the festival include Patience Namadingo, Shammah Vocals, Zathu Band, Robert Chiwamba, Raphael Sitima, Forus Crew and Salama Dance Crew.

There will also be drama performances from schools such as HHI, Joyce Banda Foundation and Stella Maris from Blantyre; Chipasula, Likuni Boys and Darlo Girls from Lilongwe; and Luwinga, Nkhata Bay and Marymount from the Northern Region.

The other drama groups set to star at the festival are YDC Theatre, Young Travellers, Dzuwa Arts and Wachetemara.

There will also be awards during the festival on Sunday.

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