Organisers of the annual Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) have announced that the event will not take place this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
In an interview, BAF’s Thom Chibambo said although the annual arts event will not take place, they will use their artistic clout to teach communities, especially in rural areas about the disease.
He said: “As an artistic organisation, we will use our creative approach to teach our audiences about the global pandemic.
“We will give our audiences the right information about prevention of Covid-19.”
Chibambo said currently they have requested for funding from their partners to help them reach out to the communities in rural areas.
This year’s BAF was scheduled to take place from October 9 to 11.
However, BAF will still conduct the Fit-For-Life training to drill artists in stage management.
“We will train at least 1000 youths across the country. We believe that knowledge is power as it can influence a great change that we need in our society in order to live a better life,” said Chibambo.
Reacting to the development, up-and-coming poet Lazarus Chagoma said he hoped there was a way to still go ahead with the festival and other festivals instead of cancelling them altogether.
“It is through such events that up-and-coming artists like me get an opportunity to be noticed. But then again the pandemic took us unawares. Let us hope next year organisers will hold the event,” he said.
BAF has over the years held the annual event with support from organisations such Open Society Initiative For Southern Africa, Hivos, Germany Embassy, The Norwegian Embassy, Goethe Institute, Hannover City and Blantyre City Council, among other partners.