Music Crossroads Malawi has embarked on a Project to collect and record the country’s folksongs and practices for promotion and preservation.
In an interview, Music Crossroads programmes and events coordinator Bridget Shumba said under the project dubbed Malawi Folksong, they have already trained a team of researchers to scout for the traditional aspects in 14 districts of the country.
She said the project is now in its second phase where the team has been deployed into various districts in the Central Region to identify folksongs and practices that are widespread in the region.
“After visiting all the regions, we will then sample the folksongs and then select and record those that will be promoted,” said Shumba.
She said the songs will be preserved in form of CDs, DVDs and books which will be distributed in schools countrywide.
“Presently, the folksongs are passed on and preserved by word of mouth. If we do not collect and record them, they may end up disappearing one day; hence, the idea of preserving them in books, DVDs or CDs,” said Shumba.
The three-year project is being implemented with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), Rei Foundation and the National Library Service of Malawi.
The four institutions are also working hand in hand with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Ministry of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development.
Shumba said the recorded folksongs will be popularised in schools with the aim of motivating learners to take up music as a career.
“We understand that music lessons are no longer available in primary and secondary schools. We expect this project to be of help to learners who may wish to pursue music as a career,” she said.
Some of the districts to benefit from the project are Salima, Mchinji, Ntchisi, Nkhotakota, Rumphi, Nkhata Bay, Chitipa, Karonga, Phalombe, Mulanje, Zomba, Machinga and Neno.
Cultural activist Aupson Thole said the country also has several other traditional aspects, including historical and cultural sites that need similar projects to boost the tourism sector. n