On Sunday evening in Seychelles there flowed some good tidings for Malawi as far as entertainment and arts is concerned. One of our own, Chimwemwe Kamkwamba, won the Miss Deaf Africa crown.
The Malawian lanky beauty shrugged off competition from nine other contestants to win the coveted crown which last year was won by a Mozambican. To cap it all, Kamkwamba got a financial token of 1 000 euros (estimated at K820 000) and a return air ticket to Seychelles to perform charity duties in her capacity as Miss Deaf Africa.
Before the nation shares in Kamkwamba’s glory, it would only be proper to give her a special salute for the belief she placed on herself that she could do it. For long rhetoric has dwelled on fighting for the inclusion of people who are living various degrees of disabilities.
The first step in winning this battle however also depends on how willing the people living with disabilities are in releasing themselves, believing in their abilities and availing themselves in any undertaking which demands their participation.
The honour that Kamkwamba has achieved should be enough to instil a spirit of belief both within her circles and outside. The efforts that have been invested towards this cause will yield nothing if the people the battle is being fought elect to take the backseat and do nothing for themselves.
Another big mention should go to everyone, who behind the scenes fought hard to make Kamkwamba’s dream become a reality. As her chaperone Florence Banda indicated, every year they face challenges in raising money to send a representative to the contest.
It is well-documented how artists in Malawi find it hard to woo organisations and individuals to financially support them in any ventures that they are pursuing both locally and abroad. Then how difficult can it get for someone pushing to get help to participate in a beauty contest involving the deaf?
Clearly Banda and her team have their work cut out for themselves. But at the end of the day someone has to do it. And in this case we will still count on Banda’s relentless efforts to keep this cause going and the dream afloat.
And on the Matafale Memorial Show
Again on Sunday at Civo ground in Singano Village in Chileka played host to the annual Matafale Memorial Show. Every year the Chileka music family, led by Black Missionaries Band organise a celebratory memory show to honour their departed music brothers.
The show is organised in honour of Evison Matafale, who is the founder of Black Missionaries Band, Musamude and Gift Fumulani. And this year, the event clocked 17 years since its inception.
Clearly, it is still an event which is loved by local music lovers. At least going by the huge patronage that it enjoys till today. This can be because of two reasons: it is for free and probably what Matafale meant to Malawi musically and the circumstances in which he died.
A majority of music fans still believe the country was robbed of its music messiah and they are still searching for closure. So this annual event represents their best opportunity to reconnect with the artist once again and honour his spirit.
Unfortunately, since 2003 when the event was first held, the gig has mostly been affected by heavy rains. Whether it is to do with its timing or a mere coincidence, but now it has gotten to a level where something in the scheduling of the event has to be done.
The numbers which the venue soaks up for a single event are unprecedented. A majority of these walk from far places such as Bangwe, Machinjiri, Chilomoni, Bvumbwe and Chirimba.
Sadly many times this has not been tenable because of these heavy downpours. Instead of going back with cherished memories they get home in with wet clothes which are draped in mud.
It was therefore refreshing when after last week’s event, which was nearly aborted because of the rains again, indicated that they are considering changing the dates. We hope this happens fast so that come next year, people should have a different feel of what it means to be part of this celebratory event.