Pakhonde Ethno Music Camp returns

Music Crossroads Malawi will hold the Pakhonde Ethno Music Camp from April 30 to May 4, 2019 at Chingalire Cultural Centre in Lilongwe

The idea to establish the Pakhonde Ethno Music Camp was hatched as a means of preserving the art of playing ethno music instruments which has been on decline.

Previous participant in the ethno music camp (Picture courtesy of Music Crossroads )

One of the brains behind the initiative Gayighayi Mathews Mfune who is the Director of Music Crossroads Malawi says the ethno-music camp is meant to be a medium to encourage cultural exchange.

“This is in the field of traditional music between different
countries. At this particular ethno-music camp, there are participants from Norway, Brazil, Mozambique, Kenya and Malawi. Anyone interested to participate regardless of age is welcome,” Mfune said.

Mfune added that the music camp is called ‘Pakhonde’ which means ‘veranda or balcony’ to symbolically imply a place where people sit and share ideas as it is done in most African households.

He said the camp revitalizes the art of playing ethno-music instruments through different aspects within the larger programme.

“We have the ‘Maviru’ instrument workshops, in reference to the name of the tree under which the idea to have this particular workshop was initiated. On each day, participants attend master-training workshop based on a particular music instrument,” he said.

According to Mfune, participants are encouraged to bring their own traditional instruments in addition. They also form groups and take turns in practicing the instruments. At the end of each practice sessions, each group is required to improvise a song and sing using the instruments that they have just learnt and present in plenary,” he said.

Information on music crossroads’ website (, says there is some considerable effort to involve local communities. For instance, some local people are used as expert trainers of the various music instruments, such as Kaligo, and Sansi.

The local communities further take part as participants in the ethno-music workshops, and in the public music concert that take place on the final day.

In honor of ethnomusicologist Charles Chavalamangwere Mkanthama who also hatched the ethno music camp, a concert, dubbed Chavala is held for free.

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