Memories are still fresh of how a thrilling and enthralling breeze covered the glory of July every year in Malawi between the years 2011 and 2016. Then, entertainment mongers enjoyed the windy, artistic banquets from poetry organisers, but, in no time their senses were left badly bruised with what turned out to be cold silence. Inks and voices disappeared into thin air.
But, after smelling the retrogression of art in Malawi, versatile poets Babangoni Chisale, Hoffman Aipira and Sylvester Kalizang’oma have come to create an intriguing environment for all fun-seekers.
One of the organisers, Sylvester Kalizang’oma says the ‘Warm Heart Poetry Festival’ will be an annual gathering of poets, innovators and other creative artists from both local and international scenes.
“People used to celebrate Malawi as the Land of Poets some years ago, and the veteran poets who had ever graced the previous poetry feast were Professor Jack Mapanje, Professor David Rubadiri, Dr. John Lwanda, Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga and others, but former organiser Poetry Association of Malawi (PAM) almost siphoned off fatty poetry that people once embraced.
Season of lamenting over the dry entertainment in Malawi is gone, and this year an independent arts body is launching the ‘Warm Heart Poetry Festival’ on 3 December, 2017 at the Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) in the afternoon.
We want fans to get married to the beauty of art, and poetry would be their wedding couch. Poetry is food, and the main vehicle of communication for it touches all corners of life. People should come and flood the BCC and together we will grow wings and fly over the castles of sentimentality, a thing they will never regret in life,” explains Kalizang’oma.
He adds: “Our main objectives are to promote patriotism and allegiance to our cultural values, symbols and pride for global recognition through diverse, qualitative and positive artistic display. In addition to that, we want to unearth hidden talents, skills, innovations, and civic educate citizens so that solutions to the challenges we face should be sourced within ourselves rather than solely relying on the hands of expatriates.
Therefore, we call upon the government, non-governmental organisations and other well-wishers to join hands and support us, and together we will sweeten the national development.”
The 2017 poetry festival will be spiced up by renowned artists such as Alfred Msadala, Babangoni Chisale, Yankho Seunda, Sylvester Kalizang’oma, Hoffman Aipira, Norman Nyirenda, AChair Frank Naligonje, Raphael Sitima, Ackson Ngalande, Charity Dzongwe, Luckier Chikopa, Madalitso Nyambo, Wamtali Savala Gogoda, Ian Tambala, Esnart Tambala, Felix Njonjonjo Katsoka, Samuel Joseph, Michael Benjala.
Nyerere Band of ‘Mbewa zapachulu’ fame from Mulanje, and Agorosso will also caress the eardrums through music.
On the day, columnist, poet Alfred Msadala will be honoured with a ‘Long Time Achiever’ medal for his sacrificial contribution in art.
The ‘Warm Heart Poetry Festival’ (WHPF) will be held every July. But, this year the event will be celebrated in December, and it is being sponsored by Bayete Naturals Nutri-therapy.