Ben Mankhamba left for Germany on Thursday to raise funds for his goodwill and cultural exploits, including a film on unsafe motherhood and orphanhood in rural parts of Malawi.
On Tuesday, the award-winning Kamba Anga Mwala hitmaker, who is village head Chingalire in Lilongwe, said he will be in Hannover City until June 10 for exhibitions on rural Malawians’ life, art and culture.
While there, he is expected to present a real-life case to potential donors of the Chingalire Rural Growth Centre projects which benefit surrounding village’s in T/A Kalolo. The initiatives include tree nurseries in aid of the Lilongwe northwest community’s reforestation efforts, English classes for 150 children aged 6 to 15 and the film Tikondane which employs rural residents as actors to tell their untold stories of maternal health, child labour and orphanhood amid HIV and Aids.
“I have been invited by the City of Hannover and I am travelling with lots of artefacts which mirror Malawi’s folk way of living. I will showcase these things during the exhibitions as Germans want to experience art, entertainment and life from our roots,” said Mankhamba in an interview.
Last year, he visited the same city together with Afrojazz enigma Agolosso and veteran folk artist Giddes Chalamanda in a cultural exchange sponsored by the German Embassy and Blantyre Arts Festival.
This time, Mankhamba is expected to tour four schools which have expressed interest to partner with local schools in his catchment area. He said the educational visits are a response from a German couple which toured his life-changing projects in Chingalire and fell in love with his goodwill track, Help the Children of Today.
The track asks the world to assist the African child for a better tomorrow, probing: “How do you say life is so sweet when many children suffer?”
In so doing, the lyrics asks people who “maybe do not know the other side of life” to come and see for themselves the plight of “children who have no mama or papa”.
Explained Mankhamba: “The song seeks to awaken the developed world from the glorious pictures TV and newspaper portrays and sensitise them to the hard realities poor children face in hard-to-reach areas.
“I hope the visit will stimulate well-wishers to help construct a school or better shelter for children who undergo the open-air English lessons. The classes will also serve as an art and sports centre for the youth,” he said.
The artist will come back on June 10.