The four comedians last Sunday held one of the biggest comedy events in the country. The show was a fundraiser for Kweza Arts Centre, a brain child of poet Q Malewezi of Qoncept Creative, whose overall dream is to promote arts in Malawi. After the show, our reporter YVONNIE SUNDU spoke with Chaponda (DC), Ncube (CJN), Kansiime (AK), Inapo (CI) and Malewezi (QM).
: What motivated all of you to join hands with Qoncept Creative and
support this project?
DC: I have come and I have about seven shows in Malawi starting with when we did a show at Crossroads to Bicc now and one thing that has really been missing is having a purpose built arts venue. Having a show at Bicc is great but however, not many local artists can afford but that purpose built arts centre will have all sizes of shows. Like in South Africa, there is a room always for comedy and music.
CJN: Arts centres are good ladders for an industry, comics can start and become something without having to struggle due to absence of venues like an arts centre.
CI: It also comes to the business side of it. We have so many shows that have failed back home because of venues. We have weekly shows and if that is paid for at a venue like Bicc, that is not sustainable. Arts centres are there for the arts and if somebody is having a show that grows talent, it cannot pay for a venue like Bicc. An arts centre bridges the gaps as all entertainers will have such sustainability.
AK: We are happy that for the first time, we came with a purpose, we are happy that when we leave, people will not say every time they come they get our money. Now you know we are in this to stay. These are the bricks we are making for the arts centre.
: You waived all your hiring charges to come and contribute towards the arts. Should your fans expect more contribution from you towards the project?
CJN: The Zimbabwe media will now talk that I am an ambassador of a Malawi project and what that does on the continental level, is greater than one can imagine, we may have laughed today but there’s something far-reaching and goes further than just Malawi that has happened.
What it means is that Malawi has just turned itself to become a capital of comedy in southern Africa.
YS: What more fundraising activities have you lined up to sustain the project?
QM: We are looking at fundraising internationally and that is where these guys come in. An endorsement from them goes a long way. There are other artists I have worked with in comedy and music that are coming on board as ambassadors. The heart of these events is myself reaching out to my friends. So look out for more events in poetry as well as other art forms.
: How far are we now with the project?
QM: We got the land in Area 43 soon after St John of God. So that’s a big step itself and we got a good number of pledges this evening.
We are hoping to start building [as soon as] the funds come in as we need to give that confidence and more people will come on board. We will be getting approvals from the city and soon after that, we will start construction. We are opening in 2022. n