Flames midfielder Gerald Phiri Jnr has cast his net beyond the football pitch by introducing a music promotion project.
The Baroka FC player has joined forces with local entertainment online platform Mikozi Network to unearth raw music talent by providing artists with a platform and resources to showcase their potential.
According to the soccer ace, the project targets young and budding artists who will be helped with the necessary technical grooming to help create the next Malawian international music star.
Meanwhile, music lovers in the country have been invited to nominate an artist of exceptional potential through his official Facebook page.
Phiri said the initiative follows discussions he had with representatives from Mikozi Network on the prospects of grooming the next international Malawian music star. He said that most local artists have failed to make the grade because of lack of technical and financial support.
“We came to a conclusion that if we can put together our little resources we can help unearth an artist of international repute who can help fly the Malawi flag just like we have done in various fields such as football,” he wrote.
In an interview from his South African base, Phiri said though they have taken the first steps in the initiative, he is still hoping to get more partners on board. He said he felt duty-bound to help after seeing the potential that is going to waste.
He said: “There is a lot of talent around. That is why I thought of making the first move by making the announcement through my Facebook page. I thought that would help create awareness about the initiative too.”
Phiri has, however, rued the coronavirus pandemic as it has disturbed the timeline of the project. He said that all modalities of the project will have been worked out during the off season.
The soccer ace first showed his passion for local music when he donated entry tickets to hip hop artist Gwamba’s album launch concert at Lilongwe Golf Club late last year.
Speaking in an interview, Mikozi Network’s Excess said they will help in providing the technical direction in the project, searching for artists that have potential to maintain a long-term relevance both on the local and international markets.
He said Malawian artists have previously failed to penetrate the international market not necessarily due to lack of talent but numbers to help them push for increased visibility.
“Gerald is an international player with a broader audience. The affiliation between him and the upcoming artists will give the budding artists a competitive advantage in terms of a broad fan base,” said Excess.
He said a technical panel will help in coming up with the final list of outstanding artists but the winner will be selected by music fans.