Artists in the northern region have hailed Mzuzu University (Mzuni) for showing its commitment towards uplifting arts industry in the country by opening an arts facility to be used by artists and theatre groups for free.
Speaking in separate interviews, the artists specialised in traditional dances, theater, music and fine arts among others, said Mzuni needs to be applauded for taking a step to provide the arts centre besides offering creative arts lessons at the institution.
One of Mzuzu based acoustic musicians, Mashallo Samillo who together with his Nkhalamu Band has already staged two performances at the institution’s centre said the development is a gesture of the institution’s commitment and interest in developing the arts industry in the country.
“I have already staged two performances there and I can proudly say that it is a nice space for the expression of art,” he said.
National Theatre Association of Malawi Vice Chairperson, James Gondwe, who is also director for Oneness Arts Theater, said artists need to make better use of the center which has readily available audience composed of students.
“We have been complaining for a very long time of low patronage in our shows, but Mzuni has finally given us that platform with students as starting point audience. It is high time we rose up as artists and made better use of this opportunity,” he said.
Emmanuel Mlonga Ngwira of Umoza Cultural Troupe and Emmaus Drama Group stated stated that the centre is a development that artists would always live to remember the institution for.
Mzuni’s Head of Department of Languages and Literature, Misheck Banda pledged that the institution would continue supporting artists and hinted that plans are underway to hold an arts festival and exhibition at the centre.
“Our support in arts will not end here because we have even better dreams which include introducing short art trainings and organizing arts festivals where different art groups will avail themselves to learn from each other.
“We are planning to extend the centre so that we can be hosting artists that command large audiences,” he said.
The centre, dubbed Club 31, was opened on December 1, 2017 and has since hosted one of the country’s well known theatre artists, the duo, Misheck Mzumara and Thlupego Chisiza and several other performances by artists on and outside the campus.