Nanzikambe hosts Mwezi Wawala theatre festival

Imagine, you sitting there, night skies twinkling with gleaming stars and the moon in its full radiance, mingling with softer glow of oil lamps on the side walls, as folklore drums rumble to the tempo of its strummer, dancers limbs flow in waves of rhythm and folktale tellers sinking hearts to the lure of their tales.

It might sound like a daydream and to some, it is like a wishful thinking, but that’s what Nanzikambe Arts Theatre’s international theatre festival sets to be like in reality.

Based on the prowess in turning every creative imagination into actuality, for Nanzikambe, this could not be a chimera. The group is all certain, realizing how tangible and ingenious the idea is-and being first international theatre festival to be conceived and hosted by a Malawian theatre grouping.

Eunice Kadzuwa of Nanzikambe Arts performing in German

Dubbed Mwezi Wawala International Theatre festival, Nanzikambe is set to hold the get-together of various theatre groups across the continent and overseas between August and September this year at its home base, Naperi, Blantyre.

In an interview with Nyasa Times, Nanzikambe’s Special Projects Coordinator, Nkhwachi Peter Mhango said preparations for the festival were on advanced stage.

“The festival will accommodate all aspects of arts music, dances, comedies, theatre plays and of course folktale telling,” he said.

“ We expect to have different theatre groups from several countries in Africa as well as Europe. The festival is aimed at exposing our local artists as they will have chance to display their talent, mingle and interact with artists from other countries as well,” said Mhango.

Some of the theatre groups expected to patronize the festival will be from Zimbabwe, Tanzania, South Africa, Germany and UK.

Mhango added that apart from local established groups participating in the Mwezi Wawala festival, the international theatre get-together will accord opportunity to this year’s Association of Teaching English in Malawi (ATEM) secondary school drama competition winners to partake in the gathering.

“Apart from ATEM winners, we will also have Kamuzu Academy and St Andrews schools students showcasing their productions. Mwezi Wawala is about fun, so expect to have nights of amusements, laughter, tears of joy and dances. It will be a gathering for everyone, a best time for families to enjoy a feast of artistic displays,” explained Mhango.

According to Mhango, Nanzikambe will soon start hosting performances by various artists every month in run up to the international festival.

“Nanzikambe will be providing the venue and promotional materials for any artist call it music, comedy or story telling and we will be getting the gate collections. It is through such monthly performances that will have a chance of identifying some of the artists to participate in the Mwezi Wawala festival,” he added.

The coming in of Mwezi Wawala brings the total of international festivals the country is expected to have this year to two. Another one is Blantyre Arts Festival coming later this year. This is in the wake of revelations that there will be no Lake of Stars international festival this year.

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