Traditional dances are a vital aspect of a typical Malawian daily experience with a physical, emotional and spiritual touch. Traditional dances are performed to connect, celebrate, lament and stimulate agency among people.
During this year’s Zomba City Festival which commenced on 29 April and ended on 2 May, 2022, YONECO Cultural Troupe brought the power of Malawian traditional dances to the patrons. The group presented various traditional dances in their raw forms to induce a Malawian sense of rhythm that is more perceptive, pervasive and memorable to the participants. With the songs carrying various social transformative messages coupled with the indigenous rhythm of the drums, the music spoke to the conscious and subconscious souls of the audience.
Kandiyandiya, Beni, Zimbabwe, Lichelo, Mapenenga were among the many traditional dances the Cultural Troupe mesmerized the audience with. Typical of African co-performance, the audience which forms a critical component participated by clapping hands, joining the singing, laughing, and talking with the performers. In some instances, the audience joined in the performance.
“We liked your (YONECO) Cultural Troupe and the performances they put up during the festival. We really appreciated their presence,” said Laura Schuerwegen, one of the organizers of Zomba City Festival.
Zomba City Festival is a celebration of culture, heritage and natural beauty of the one-time capital city of Malawi. The event attracted both local and international patrons throughout the four days it took place.
Apart from the performances by YONECO Cultural Troupe, YONECO also utilized the platform to publicize the Tithandizane National Helpline Services which offers toll-free lines for reporting child abuse – 116, Gender Based Violence – 5600, drug and substance abuse – 6600. The lines also provide telephone counselling services to survivors of various forms of abuse as well as young people who abuse alcohol and drugs. YONECO also publicized the youth helpline (393) which is being operated in partnership Youth Advocates with financial support from SADC.