When children’s music band from Jacaranda Orphanage in Blantyre impressed the delegation of French ambassador Laurent Delahousse and Mayor of Blantyre City Noel Chalamanda last week Thursday, everyone wondered where the children got the skills from.
It was until after one of the gadgets failed to transmit the desired sound that people got to know that the magic behind the terrific skills from the Jacaranda children’s band was Patrick Simakweli.
He pooped up on stage to rectify the problem and the performance continued.
In an interview later, the veteran musician said he had embarked on an initiative to train children and youths music theories and how to play instruments both on paid and voluntary basis depending on circumstances. And Jacaranda Orphanage is one of the beneficiaries.
Said Simakweli: “I believe that music development is passed on from one generation to another. It is against this background that I embarked on this training children and youths in music.”
Apart from Jacaranda, he is also extending the initiative to Thyolo Youth Centre, Active Youth Initiative for Social Enhancement (Ayise) in Bangwe and Christ Citadel Church in Blantyre.
Previously, Simakweli has been music trainer at the Musicians Union of Malawi (MUM) Southern Region Chapter and St Andrews International High School.
Under the initiative, he trains youths and students in basic music theories and instruments like drums, saxophones and guitars.
“Imparting music skills to the future generation of artists is the only way we can sustain the industry. Unless veteran musicians take such an initiative now the country’s music industry will be in disarray.
“Music is life. We live it and it defines our existence and cultural expressions. Imagine life without music that educates, informs and heals the broken souls. This world would have been discouraged without the power of music,” said Simakweli.
He cited the formation of Jacaranda children’s band, Christ Citadel Church’s pianist Sam Kalenga, MUM’s Papa Mtume-who has established his own music band-and vocalist Mercy Mwangoza as some of the fruits of his initiative.
Jacaranda Orphanage executive director Luc Deschamps said the music initiative is having a tremendous impact on orphans.
“Music plays a significant role in our lives. As such Jacaranda values and promotes the art which has helped orphans including other vulnerable children to exercise their rights. With the expertise of Simakweli we have seen a number of students mastering voice and instruments such as lead guitars, drums and saxophones that are used to reveal and maximize their potential,” said Deschamps.