Gwamba premiers SYP song ‘Champweteka N’chimanga’: Cultural practices taking toll

Safeguard Young People (SYP) ambassador hip-hop artist Gwamba on Friday premiered his song and video ‘Champweteka N’Chimanga’ highlighting the negative impact the country’s cultural values have on adolescent girls.

UNFPA programme officer Rose Khonje during the media orientation. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

UNFPA programme officer Rose Khonje during the media orientation. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

Gwamba interacts with UNFPA officials, the media and fellow musicians at istening party. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

Gwamba interacts with UNFPA officials, the media and fellow musicians at istening party. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

Gwamba interacting with the media during the UNFPA-SYP orientation. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

Gwamba interacting with the media during the UNFPA-SYP orientation. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

CAN journalist Chris Loka makes a contribution as Gwamba listens. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

CAN journalist Chris Loka makes a contribution as Gwamba listens. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

Members of the media during the UNFPA-SYP media orientation. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

Members of the media during the UNFPA-SYP media orientation. Photo courtesy of Pencils PR

The song, a Manganje tune fused with Ngoma and modern hip-hop elements, produced by BFB and video done by Sukez of HD Plus, speaks against teen pregnancies, early marriages and the rituals that have made young girls victims of sex.

Champweteka N’Chimanga’ is part of the SYP’s ‘We Will’ album launched in 2015 featuring some of Southern Africa’s leading artists who uses music to engage young people on issues of sexual health and reproductive rights.

It featured Bryan K (Zimbabwe), The Dogg (Namibia), KrTC (Swaziland), Zeus (Botswana), Stlofa (Lesotho), DJ Kaliwa (Zambia) and Gwamba (Malawi), as well as collaborative tracks such as ‘Give Me a Chance’, ‘Congiva (Condom)’, ‘Private Party’ and the title track.

All 10 songs have positive messages in line with the SYP goals, and the album notes include full lyrics, as well as English translations. Gwamba has also worked with other local artists such as Lulu and Young K and others under the SYP initiative.

Speaking during the premier that coincided with media orientation, Gwamba pointed out that he opted for the traditional dance elements which are popular bearing in mind the targeted audience.

“I chose the sound that is trending but also I kept it in mind the target audience. We made sure that the video depicts beautiful sceneries of Malawi,” said Gwamba.

SYP focal Person, Rose Khonje said they have been forced to release the song and the video one year after the We Will album was launched due to logistics and availability of resources.

“The song tackles productive health and cultural issues affecting adolescent girls. We believe the song will help to reduce STI infections and pregnancies among the adolescent girls. It will also help a girl-child as well as boy-child to become better citizens of Malawi,” explained Khonje.

On the programme’s evaluation, Khonje said the country has done impressively well, noting that the big challenge has been the cultural practices.

“There is an impact. Early marriages and teen pregnancies and low condom use were high. In second phase we expect to maximize efforts to have huge impact. First phase much focused on girl-child, but in the second phase we will include both sides- boy and girl-child.”

SYP is a regional programme implemented in eight Southern African countries Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. In Malawi implementation started in 2013. It is being implemented in districts of NkhataBay, Dedza, Mchinji, Mangochi, Chiradzulu and Chikwawa.

SYP intents of scaling up comprehensive interventions for adolescents and young people in Southern Africa through a multi-sectoral approach, which touches on policy, integrated HIV and SRH youth-friendly services, sexuality education for in- and out-of-school youth as well as youth empowerment.

It aims at improving the sexual and reproductive health status of young people aged 10 to 24, with a special focus on HIV prevention.

The programme is funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation Agency (SDC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Global Programme on Reproductive Health Commodity Security (GPRHCS); and the UNFPA/UNAIDS-implemented SRH/HIV Linkages Project in 7 Countries, co-funded by the European Union and the Swedish International Development Agency (EU/SIDA).

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