afrika aphukira

Midwiving the Afrikan rebirth. . . Views of Afrika and the world, on the path to the renaissance, from a social justice and an Afrikan epistemological perspective--uMunthu. Includes specific commentary on Malawi and Sub-Saharan Africa.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Malawi at 50: Song & Dance, Tears & Laughter

These students had fun composing songs and dances improptu
In June this year I accompanied a team of educationists visiting a school in the eastern part of Dedza. I observed a Standard 4 Expressive Arts lesson in which students composed and enacted an impromptu song and dance. I would have thought this impossible, but not the students, nor their teacher.

It was clear from the expressions on the students’ faces that they enjoyed the lesson. The absence of a larger social meaning in the activity was more of a fault with the curriculum design than with the teacher’s purpose for the lesson. The lesson had achieved its purpose by giving students an opportunity to express their artistic skills in composing, singing ad dancing.

The children in this school came from a remote  part of Malawi. They were using a powerful medium of expression and knowledge-making. Although such performances of theatre, song and dance have become universal ways of disseminating what has come to be described as “civic education”, they also serve as a way through which communities engage and interact with social change. Communities use such performances to talk to authorities, subvert unequal power relations, and celebrate a vibrance and vitality that is easily missed in the top-down, one-way discourse of officialdom.

While Malawian artists have exploited these forms of expression in music, poetry, film, painting, and pottery, among others, aid workers and government departments have also used these art forms to disseminate civic information and development messages. The comedy duo of Chindime and Samalani  appear at public functions, on TV and in radio sketches to make Malawians laugh while conveying public service messages. Sadly, Samalani, real name Elias Chimbalu, passed away at the end of June. He was aged 40. Chindime ndi Samalani perfected the art of theatre for development in an arena whose other great performers include The Story Workshop, Timveni Arts,  and Theatre for a Change.

The current sensation on the Malawian music front this year has been Lawi. With Francis Phiri as his real name, Lawi adopted his nickname from ‘Malawi’ (Lawi singular, Malawi plural). The genius of Lawi’s music is expressed in the everyday persona whose mass collectivity accumulates into the many flames that shine the Malawian path.

His song Amaona kuchedwa burst onto the scene early this year, and has enjoyed playtime on practically every radio station, entertainment joint, engagement parties and weddings. But it is his other songs that capture the warm heart of Africa that is Malawi in a range of childhood memories, images of the capital city Lilongwe, and the beauty of rural livelihoods. Lawi’s golden voice has charmed the Malawian ear in a way no other musician of his Afro-soul genre has done in recent memory. His is a phenomenal  addition to a tradition trailblazed by Wambali Mkandawire three decades ago.

In poetry, there is a new generation of performers who have taken over the mantle from the generation that fought the one party dictatorship. That generation was represented by scholar poets such as David Rubadiri, Felix Mnthali, Jack Mapanje, Steve Chimombo, Frank Chipasula, among others. They mostly wrote in English and taught in universities. Today the poetry that is telling the Malawian story is in Chichewa, and is performed by young poets. Many of them follow Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga in intonation and voice deflection, in deference to a poet who pioneered a genre.

As was with the earlier generation, there are still few women poets, but they pack an intellectual punch. Ovixlexla Bunya is a multi-talented artist who dabbles in TV, poetry and is also a student of philosophy. Days before the general elections on 20th May she released a recorded Chichewa poem that subtly laid bare the shenanigans of the major political parties that were contesting. Titled after a campaign slogan, ‘Dzuka, Malawi, Dzuka’ (Wake up, Malawi, Wake up), it is a rapid-fire narrative crafted in a powerful, moving lexicon that brings sobriety to the inebriation of blind partisanship.
Ovixlexla Bunya, poet, artist, TV personality

Malawian artists tell all. They have seen governments come and go. They have given artistic interpretation to scandal, crime and vice. They will continue reflecting the kind of society Malawi is. They will keep imagining and re-imagining the future. They will tell more Malawian stories through song and dance, tears and laughter. That is why the arts and the humanities need to continue being an integral part of the school curriculum from primary through to university, including teacher education.

* A version of this post first appeared as an article under a different title in The Malawi News of Saturday 26th July, 2014.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

View blog reactions posted by steve sharra @ Tuesday, September 16, 2014

7 Comments:

At Sunday, December 18, 2016 6:55:00 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

افضل شركة تركيب باركيه بالرياض
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالاحساء
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالجبيل
شركة جلى بلاط شرق الرياض
افضل شركة تسليك مجاري بالاحساء

 
At Friday, December 23, 2016 6:02:00 PM, Blogger khaled ali said...

شركة نقل اثاث وعفش بالطائف
شركة تنظيف بالطائف
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالطائف
شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف

 
At Friday, December 23, 2016 6:02:00 PM, Blogger khaled ali said...

Best Company Home Services
شركة رش مبيدات بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف خزانات بخميس ميشط
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بخميس مشيط
شركة مكافحة حشرات بخميس مشيط
شركة تنظيف منازل بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل اثاث وعفش بخميس مشيط
شركة تسليك مجارى بخميس مشيط
شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف

 
At Sunday, February 25, 2018 5:44:00 PM, Blogger khaled ali said...

شركة الصفرات لتسليك المجاري
شركة الصفرات لتنظيف الخزانات

 
At Friday, April 13, 2018 7:26:00 PM, Blogger المتوكل على الله said...

شركة تنظيف موكيت بالرياض تتخصص فى القيام بأعمال تنظيف الموكيت ونظرا لحساسية التعامل مع الموكيت فشركتنا افضل شركة تنظيف موكيت بالرياض تعتمد على أدوات محددة لسلامة الموكيت وعدم تجريحه
ركن كلين للصيانة والنظافة

 
At Monday, April 23, 2018 10:29:00 AM, Blogger seham farid said...


نعمل في شركتنا على تمديد قسائم وتركيب ستلايت مركزي عالي الجودة مكفول بأسعار مميزة,نقوم بتوصيل ستلايت مركزي بشكل لاسلكي وايرلس بأفضل الطرق والأساليب المتطورة لضمان خدمة ممتازة فى تصليح ستلايت , اتصل الآن مع فني ستلايت هندي . ليقوم بحساب القسائم والتكلفة, والوصول إليك والبدء بتقديم الخدمة.
عمل فني ستلايت هو تلك العمل الذى يحتاج المزيد من الدراسة و الأهتمام الأكاديمى بخلاف تلك المجهودات المضاعفة على فرد العمالة لفني الستلايت و هنا تأتى تطوير أساليب فني الستلايت لتصبح الأسهل و الأكثر فاعلية و أنتاجية و هو ما يجعلنا دائما نسير وفق المزيد من العناصر التى من شأنها أن تكون من خلالها الأفضل و على سبيل المثال نحن نقوم بكل ذلك
نحن تتميز الخبرة والكفاءة والسرعة والتركيبات اللازمة من دون اي أخطاء ، ونحن الحفاظ علي الأقمار الصناعية باستخدام أحدث الأقمار الصناعية.خدمات لتجديد وتركيب القناات المشفرة من خلال أفضل الفنيين ونحن حريصون علي استخدام والتدريب في أفضل الأقمار الصناعية والدورات التدريبية.
نحن افضل خيار فى حالة احتياجك الى فني ستلايت الكويت

 
At Saturday, September 01, 2018 12:26:00 AM, Blogger Dida ELhaik said...

مكافحة النمل الابيض ببريدة
شركة تنظيف شقق ببريدة
شركة مكافحة حشرات بعنيزة

 

Post a Comment

<< Home


BlogCatalog