It was an event aimed to challenge patrons by talking about issues that bother them and are oftentimes swept under the carpet.
By the time the cast of the visual performance titled Nude: Tear off your mask. Your face is glorious finished their performance, the artists had arguably achieved their purpose.
As the audience settled into the venue, they were greeted by mimes and mask distribution before being told not to speak.
“From this point onwards, your voice is not needed. We appeal to your eyes only. Taking of pictures is not allowed and please put your phones on silent mode,” said the announcement before the performance started.
The seven members that made up the cast were unveiled, all clad in black, with white face masks. The cast members Sarah Lindeire, who is also the writer, Aubrey Lindeire, Chris Msosa, Sharmilla Elias, Chisomo Kachapila and Mphatso Makamo, talked about everything either through their life experiences or not.
From the struggles that black women go through to conform to societal demands, to how women are often harshly reprimanded in the name of culture and minority rights, the artists took turns to churn out uncomfortable lines.
“The pregnancy culture in Malawi tells you not to tell anybody. You wear chitenje [a cloth wrapper] tied to your neck. You meet doting eyes checking your fingers. When they see a ring, they say she is respectable.
“They advise you against celebrating pregnancy and I don’t get it why everyone is so hell-bent on spoiling what women do. Why they are so obsessed with controlling women,” argued Sarah.
She thanked interested people who have made a deliberate effort to take pictures of women who choose to celebrate their bodies even when riddled with stretch marks.
“They are beautiful and thank you for celebrating them,” Sarah said.
She then moved on to something personal about her life experiences.
Taking her turn, Elias highlighted the struggles that men put women through for simply doing their work.
“Don’t assume that attraction is mutual and we [women] are doing absolutely anything. She went in for a business meeting and the person she was meeting, a high-profile man asked to kiss her. Dang! Excuse you!,” she charged.
Elias also took a swipe at self-acclaimed activists who in essence do little to change the lives of others.
“I am uncomfortable with fake activists. Using pit latrines and boreholes in the 21st century to gain mileage,” she said.
The Nude: Tear off your mask. Your face is glorious was created in a bid to create an environment where people are free to talk and face realities of life.
Some of the cast members in action
PHOTOGRAPH: JAMES MUKA
The Great Angels Choir captured during their performance
Fun, fireworks at ‘Reunion’ gospel show
It was a memorable Sunday afternoon when gospel artists Thocco Katimba, The Great Angels Choir and Ndirande Anglican Voices held a joint show at Mchinji Chill Spot.
The show was organised by Mchinji-based Kelvin Chimtokoma who moved to quench Mchinji residents thirst for family entertainment for months.
The highly-patronised show started at exactly 4pm and was curtain-raised by Madzimayera Station Choir.
Then musician Thocco Katimba went on stage and performed Ndakhululuka, Please Forgive Me, Ndalipeza Banja and Ndilibe Nanu Mau, among others.
He proved to be a stage master with his active engagement with the audience throughout his performance, explaining the inspiration behind every song he performed.
After Katimba, the Great Angels Choir took over. They went straight into action performing Tadikira, Kodi Alipo, Opanda Dipo and a new track Za Yahwe performed with the help of pre-recorded sound.
Blantyre-based Ndirande Anglican Voices were the last to go on stage. They performed Ine Ndibwelela and Imbani Alleluya.
All artists were backed by Pluckers Band from Lilongwe.
In an interview after the show, Katimba said he was happy to return to stage and promised more great performances as live shows have resumed after the Covid-19 ban.
One of the patrons, Susan Blessings Gondwe, said the performance was great and she enjoyed the show.
“There is power in music, that is why I love music more than sermons,” she said.