German sets K6.6m for Blantyre Arts Festival

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to Malawi has given Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) 3,000 Euros (approximately K6.6 million) as sponsorship for this year’s festival.

BAF is slated to host the festival from October 5 to 7 this year. And with the absence of the Lake of Stars on the menu, Blantyre Arts Festival is the only international arts festival set to thrill arts enthusiasts this year.

According to the press release from German Embassy made available to Nyasa Times, the provision of sponsorship to BAF was part of the partnership the embassy has with the arts institution.

Chibambo:

“The sponsorship is a continuation of our partnership with the Blantyre Arts Festival for the fourth successive year since the Festival’s première in 2009.

“The last three years have seen the Blantyre Arts Festival grow and attain not only a national reputation for showcasing a wide spectrum of the arts like Visual Arts, Poetry, Dance, Music, Theatre, Comedy and Photography, but also international recognition,” reads the statement in part.

And to mark the continuing partnership between the German Embassy and BAF, the two parties signed an agreement on Monday between the German ambassador, Dr. Peter Woeste and BAF’s Executive Director, Thomas Chibambo where the contribution cheque was officially handed over to BAF.

In an interview earlier on Chibambo said this year’s festival would be full of surprises as they are set to make it more interesting and up to international standards.

Chibambo said activities like BAF were important to the country’s economy and urged government and other stakeholders to support the initiative.

“BAF does not only benefit the artists but other aspects of economy as well such as the transport sector, infrastructure and the tourism industry as whole. We also help in generating the needed forex since we host international artists who on the other side they are helping to make Malawi known to the world.

“It would be wonderful thing if government and other stakeholders start recognizing BAF as well as other arts festivals. Its time as a country we realize our potentials and develop arts industry. The country has a lot of talented artists who are lacking a platform to showcase their skills, and that is where a collective effort is needed,” he said.

Since BAF started in 2009, it has managed to bring into the country different artists of international repute in the likes of Jamaican reggae dub poet Mutabaruka, Zimbabwe’s celebrated Mbira artist, Oliver Mtukuzi, Senegrase hip-hop icon Dj Award among others.

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