MOVE volunteers in Malawi on exchange visit

A group of young people from Mozambique, Norway and Brazil are in the country on a music exchange visit under a project called Musicians and Organisers Volunteer Exchange (MOVE).

The exchange programme ensures that Malawian young musicians are sent out to Mozambique, Norway or Brazil, and in turn receive from the same. The project is a platform for exchange of organisers and musical competencies which ensures that Malawi showcases what it has to the world and also bring what the world has to Malawi.

The MOVE project contributes in uniting the world through the power of music.

Mugawa (L second line) & Sambo (2nd from R squatting) pose for a photo at BAF

The current volunteers arrived on 3 September, 2019, and since then they were being oriented about the historical and geographical nature of Malawi.

Bridget Shumba, Music Crossroads Malawi Academy Manager, is the project’s coordinator, and she explains how the volunteers have so far settled in Malawi.

“They have settled very well and they are experiencing what they expected. They are here to showcase their skills. These very first weeks were just for settling down and yeah they have done as expected, they now know the system. So from now they will start making projects since they are done with the observations, and it is time for them to start coming up with developmental activities, creative ideas and bringing more visibility to Music Crossroads,” Shumba said.

The project offers opportunities to both up-and-coming musicians as well as those who are already established.

Sarah Mugawa, is an ex-MOVE volunteer, who was last year sent to Brazil and she expresses her gratitude towards the coming of the current volunteers.

“We really warmly welcomed them. We started with guiding them geographically, you know like showing them where they can buy stuff and some cool places and shows they can visit.

“We are really looking forward to learning many things from them like some dance skills much as they will also learn some from us, and from the look of things they are really comfortable and eager to learn from us too, though language so far remains the challenge. For example I only know the basics of Portuguese, so sometimes it is difficult to understand each other,” Mugawa added.

The MOVE volunteers are eight in number, 2 apiece from Mozambique and Brazil, and 4 from Norway, and they are now in project planning phase.

Eulália da Glória Sambo is a MOVER from Mozambique and she talks more about her experience so far in Malawi.

“Malawian life is similar to that of Mozambique. We (in Mozambique) are a multicultural country like Malawi, and Malawian foods are more similar with ones from Mozambican Central and Northern region and it is not really strange for me. But, I am from the Southern part where like here in Malawi we eat nsima with vegetables and meat, and the only difference is on the recipes, we like a lot of spices making the taste different.”

“From us, Malawians will learn Mozambican songs for example Marrabenta songs and movements, how we prepare foods and how we make Marrabenta costumes, among others. From the Malawian culture we (MOVERS) expect to learn Chichewa language, some traditional songs and dance. Though on the language I am having a lot of problems, but some friends are teaching me.”

Sambo also added that: “From my fellow Movers I am learning their habits and culture, since we are living together and we have different backgrounds. In Norway they eat bread on breakfast, and eat a lot of vegetables every day. In Brazil they eat beans, rice and eggs almost every day and they play Pandero, on top of that we have also getting to know Brazilian outfits; they wear light-full clothes. I am also learning Norwegian language.”

Music passionate youths, the ones who meet the requirements, are picked to become MOVERS and they stay abroad for over nine months, then get back to their respective countries with vast experience and impart it to the music industry as well as societies.

Music Crossroads is a programme of Jeunesse Musicales International.

By Newton Kalua