BY IREEN KAYIRA, MANA
Malawi is one of the countries that are participating in this year’s international craft fair that is currently taking place in India.
Hosted by the Haryana Tourism Department in Surajkund, the festival has attracted over 20 countries from South Asia, Africa and Europe.
Assistant Arts Officer in the Department of Arts in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture who is leading the Malawi delegation, James Thole said Malawi’s participation was important for both cultural exchange and marketing of the diverse Malawian arts and culture at international level.
“The exchange will be there because countries are bringing art exhibitions and performances which will enable us share our different cultures,” he said.
Thole said Malawi would perform from February 2 to 16, 2020 and has been given a slot of two performances a day (one in the morning and afternoon) which totals to 30 performances.
He added the Malawi National Dance Troupe has been specifically chosen to represent Malawi as it has a repertoire of traditional dances that covers the whole of the country.
“On the crafts side Malawi is being represented by Lawrence Daka of Lilongwe while Patrick Chimbewa of Ntchisi has brought Malawian Folk Music to the event, spicing up the traditional dance performances with his Kaligo and Nsansi,” Thole said.
He said the two artists were included on the list as one way of promoting and motivating the youth to actively participate in arts and culture programmes. The ultimate goal is to preserve the arts for posterity.
One of the performers on the team Patrick Chimbewa who is performing traditional music said it is the first time to perform at this festival as this is one way he can make a name at international level.
Chimbewa said this is his second time to perform at international level as he first performed at Forde World Music Festival in Norway.
Some of the songs that he has prepared to showcase are Munditelengele Kumudzi, Najele, Namwali Okongola , Akazi Alero among others .
The Malawi delegation left on January 30,2020 and they will be back on February 21,2020.