Tumaini Festival, which is one of the main arts and cultural festivals in the country will not take place this year.
Festival founder Menes Le Plume said they came up with the decision in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said: “We finally decided that it wouldn’t be responsible to have the festival this year. We don’t want to put the community at Dzaleka Refugee Camp and its surrounding villages at risk.”
Instead, the event which takes place during the first weekend of November returns next year, Le Plume said.
This year’s festival, which was to celebrate its seventh annivesary this year, was scheduled for November 6 to 7.
He said: “Over 46 000 people attend the festival. This means the coronavirus can spread so fast.
“Therefore, Tumaini will come back from November 4 to 7 2021.”
During the break, the organisers will focus on growing the festival so that it returns bigger and better.
“We will take advantage of the break to restructure our organisation and design more programmes to impact the community we are serving more,” he explained.
Poet Chris Msosa who frequently performs at Tumaini described the development as a big blow.
“It’s hard and this whole year has been hard already. For someone who has been performing and knowing how we already struggle in Malawi and to have a platform like Tumaini Festival off, it is sad,” he said.
Recently, the slam poet and musician through Tumaini Letu, an organisation that organises Tumaini Festival, won an international humanitarian award in recognition for his efforts to uplift the lives of refugees and displaced people.