Penjani Kalua is not a household name. But once you mention Fredokiss, almost every youth in Malawi has an idea who he is: A hip hop star who has proved that it is possible to use the power of art and talent for the good of society.
After using his status to inspire the youth in various aspects of life as an ambassador of institutions such as Unicef and NBS Bank, the artist also tried his hands at politics.
Though this bid did not materialise, he has not stopped using his star power in a positive way.
Fredokiss has just announced the birth of a new movement aimed at promoting the welfare of the poor, marginalised in society and children.
League for Change (LC) is the name of the movement.
“League for Change seeks to activate the power of young people, women, men and the private sector to achieve the change that they want at an individual level,” he said.
Fredokiss said the movement is national and will have leadership at national, regional, district and village level.
“The main idea is to have youth from across the country who feel like they want to be part of the change process of providing solutions in the communities to join. Key is providing solutions to local problems,” he said.
The artist said they are targeting one million members between the ages of 10 and 40.
For starters, the movement has organised a big walk in Mzuzu on November 9 from Katoto ground to Chimaliro, Mzuzu Crisis Nursery.
“The aim of this big walk is to raise funds for the nursery that takes care of abandoned or orphaned children,” he said.
The organisation has already been established at The Polytechnic, a contituent college of the Universirty of Malawi, and 10 districts.
Fredokiss said the organisation has not yet formalised partnerships with individuals and organisations but disclosed that many are showing interest.
“We are eyeing foundations, the private sector and all humanitarians and all agents of change to partner with us,” he said.
On his future as an artist, Fredokiss had this to say: “I am a fulltime human being. The league is about Umunthu. Music is a God-given talent which cannot be abandoned, these two are inseparable.”
He added that the league will harness the power of arts in bringing about social change.
“Creativity is key to progress and the change we want to see. Artists are also encouraged to be members and pioneers of the league,” Fredokiss said.
Reacting to the news, some of his fans said the artist is always full of ideas.
“This young man can be anything he wants to be. I just hope with this new project he will not abandon his first calling which is music,” said Arnold Phiri, a fan from Mbayani in Blantyre.
Concurring with Phiri, Gertrude Nyirenda said the artist is bigger than a music star.
“He has proved to be much more influential than just a rap star. Let’s hope this new initiative really takes off and benefits a lot of people especially the youth who are just loitering around due to lack of employment,” she said.
Fredokiss is not new to charity, having founded the Fredokiss Scholarship programme which is on-going and students from less privileged background benefit from. He also has a street feeding programme where he periodically feeds children in the streets as well as a project of building and maintaining houses for the elderly.