Minister Vera Kamtukule under fire for promoting Amapiano as Malawian

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Malawi’s Minister of Tourism, Vera Kamtukule, is under fire for promoting South Africa’s Amapiano music genre as Malawian culture in “Tidziyamba ndife” advert.

Kamtukule who has been attracting public attention for her continued efforts to promoting the country’s tourism industry, has now been criticized for promoting Amapiano, a genre originating from South Africa as Malawian music.

This controversy follows her recent expenditure of taxpayers money to release a 31 second advert on Malawi tourism themed “Tidziyamba ndife” and through a social media post, she has invited people to dance to the advert and stand a chance to win some prizes.

“So you think you can dance? Let’s see those great moves. Do this dance with the same song and post on your social media handles and stand a chance to win amazing prizes. Tag Malawi Tourism, Amaryllis Hotels Blantyre and myself. Our judges are standing by to see your moves,” wrote Kamtukule.

But some quarters have questioned the minister’s choice of a genre originating from South Africa on a national material meant to promote Malawian tourism industry and culture.

“I believe I am not off-line Ma’am. Help me process why coiling an amapiano taste to a material meant for tourism oowing?! I would like to think this would have been more authentic and natural if it was for the presence of those Tay Grin drums,” commented one person on X

One Facebook user suggested that the minister should have opened the opportunity to artists to compete as he said: “I love the fact that our Minister is getting involved in activities pa ground koma ndikanakonda nyimboyi ikanakhala ya chimalawi from the beat, apopo m’mene ililimo tidzingokopanapo amalawi tokhatokhatu chifukwa munthu wakunja simungamukope ndi amapiano yakumalawi chifukwa imapikisana ndi kholo la amapiano, South Africa… Wondering if maybe this opportunity was given to open artists to try their creativity and choose who does it better? Chamba cha Beni, ndi official cultural dance sichingamavine amapiano on an official jingle like this one.”

However, Kamtukule while commenting on her Facebook post which attracted negative comments, has defended the genre to be Malawian claiming it has a Malawian fusion of Malipenga and Beni.

“We have infused a Malawian touch and represented the Dance side as purely Malawian “Malipenga and Beni” especially. Meaning everyone in Malawi or anywhere in the world will relate to the music the Dances of this DANCE CHALLENGE are pure Malawian! Also, DID YOU KNOW? that Amapiano originates from the Malawian Nyau Drum? It’s a digitised melodic version of our Nyau drum patterns. So at its core, Amapiano is MALAWIAN,” reacted Kamtukule.

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