LILONGWE, Malawi—Tumaini Festival presents a unique opportunity to support an innovative cultural event, developed and derived by refugees and Malawians, which uses entertainment and artistic expression, to promote intercultural harmony, mutual understanding, and peaceful co-existence.
The festival was founded in 2014. It is an extraordinary example of a large-scale cultural event within a refugee camp, created and run by refugees in collaboration with the host community, for the benefit of both communities.
The organizers of the festival hosted a fundraiser on Sunday for Dzaleka youths at Orchard Café in area 12, Lilongwe.
The three-hour event, which started at 7 pm, featured performances ranging from poetry to acoustic music and visual arts exhibitions.
The night started with a poetry recital from Tamanda Kanjaye, a 13-year old who presented poems she composed and dedicated to the audience.
In an interview after the performance she said, Tumaini provides a great platform for showcasing her art.
Spoke Kanjaye: “When I was approached to perform tonight, I just had to come up with something.”
In her Tumaini poem, she tackled issues of immigration and resettlement.
The poetry session was followed by music from Luki 247 who performed songs such as ‘My people, Who You With, Pulika and U And I.’
Speaking during the performance, Luki 247 said she was grateful for the Tumaini initiative.
She said: “Tumaini is home to me. It gives an opportunity to people, from all walks of life to come together.
“The festival also gives a platform for artists of different backgrounds to express themselves.”
Luki said she participated in the Tumaini Festival since its inception.
Another female poet, Gome recited an emotional piece about gender-based violence and Malawians working in South Africa mines, which touched many people.
The poet, who stammers, gave credit to her secondary school teacher for encouraging her to continue with poetry.
“Look at me, I stammer, but I am a stand-up poet. There is power in our stammering. I always give credit to my secondary teacher who kept fueling my resilience.” She said.
The fundraiser was also spiced by music from Dzaleka Refugee Camp-based female DJ La Perle.
This year’s festival is slated to take place in November.