Officials from Music Crossroads academy have hailed the steering committee for this year’s Tumaini Cultural Festival as being well organised aas a stepping stone to cultural exploration as it is a platform where different cultural activities converge to give hope to the refugees and also promote oneness.
In his remarks at the fourth edition of the festival at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa on Saturday, November 4, Music Crossroads Academy programs Manager Vincent Maluwa said as sponsors of the event, they were satisfied that the festival presents an exceptional opportunity for refugees to share aspects of their lives with interested visitors across the country and outside Malawi, to exhibit and sell their crafts and to feel the hope of connection to a wider community.
“We are contented and happy to see good fruits of our sponsorship, apart from that we were also happy to see former Music Crossroads academy students performing, it is a milestone for us and we are all smiles” he said.
Maluwa said the partnership with Tumaini festival came amidst the project they are currently running which is aimed at providing music education to the youth.
“Our mandate is to empower the youth through music education and we are very excited that as of now we have many students, we are nurturing them to be the best in as far us art and music is concerned, we are the best,” he said.
He added that the organization is ready to also partner with other organizations with events of such kind.
Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Grace Chiumia, who attended the festival where over 7 000 people patronised, said the interaction of different nationalities is a tool to the country’s development and it has unique strengths and perspectives that the larger community can benefit from it.
“Refugees are people like us and they need support, and for the country to do better, we need people like them to share us their experiences and there are people who are very creative at Dzaleka a thing that Malawians can learn,” Chiumia said.
United Nations Human Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to Malawi Monique Ekoko commended Malawi government for its support towards the festival saying refugees are hopeless people who always need comfort from others.
Tumaini Festival director Tresor Nzenga Mpauni widely known as Menes La Plume said he was impressed, saying people came in large numbers to support the initiative which aims at promoting peaceful coexistence between refugees and host communities living around Dzaleka area.
“I am very glad that people have come in large numbers to support this initiative, and honestly I am speechless because people have surprised me,” he said.
Mpauni added that the festival is also aimed at promoting intellectual harmony and boosting the economy of people living at Dzaleka refugees Camp.
This year’s event was characterised by a variety of performances, including music, poetry, theatre, acrobatics, traditional dances, traditional food and art exhibitions.
Among others, the event brought together artists including Tay Grin, Code Sangala, Annemarie Quinn from UK, Lyco and Kaka Fulaha from Japan, Ernest Ikwanga, Chanco Travelling Theatre, Bucci, find Code, Hazel Mark, Mubanga Band, Waliko Makhala, Agorosso, Malala, Robert Chiwamba, Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa, Dj Nathan tunes, Menes la Plume, Amahoro Drummers, Solomonic Peacocks Theatre and many more.
Dzaleka Refugee Camp, which is located 45 kilometres from Lilongwe, is said to have a population of over 20 000 refugees and asylum seekers from mainly DRC, Rwanda and Burundi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :