Learning in Malawi. Part 2
Wa wa and welcome back to the blog! If you haven't read the first instalment of 'Learning in Malawi' check it out. It's a quick read and has some information about where we are currently up to with our project to bring a roller disco to Malawi.
We were staying in Malawi's capital city Lilongwe for the first weekend of our trip and had been chatting with Menes La Plume about his work on Tumaini Festival and about how a roller rink might function in Malawi. He had made us feel really inspired for the project. All of a sudden our next contact rocked up half an hour early with a guitar slung over his shoulder, a cracking floral print shirt and a big smile. It was immediately obvious this was the local legend Neil Nayer. Neil and Menes turned out to be old friends who had worked together many times before. Neil is a musician and promoter who runs a live music venue in the Chidzanja Road area of Lilongwe called 'Grittah's Camp'. (https://www.facebook.com/Grittahs/) It's a progressively programmed venue showcasing Malawian musical talent and has even played host to a rarity in Malawi; punk bands. Neil was quick to grasp the concept of a roller rink in Lilongwe and could see the need for an entertainment venue for young people. He was also a wealth of knowledge on Malawi's music scene which was great for us as one of our ideas for fundraising for the rink is to put out an album of music to skate to, featuring Malawian and Scottish musicians. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels as we will be announcing the contributing artists in the near future. If you can't wait to wrap your ears around some Malawian grooves check out this great website http://www.malawi-music.com/artists.
Menes had to run and meet some friends but for Neil, Xavi and myself the night was young. What else do you do on Saturday night in a new city? The answer... go dancing, and in Neil's words "Catch a Vibe". Neil took us to 4 or 5 night spots in Lilongwe where we heard loads of great local music. At the first place we met George Kalakusha, a musician and all round great guy. Check his music out here, https://www.facebook.com/georgekalukushamusic/ Whilst out and about we learnt that Malawi LOVES music, and in particular reggae. They also really know how to dance! A good indicator that Malawi would love to skate to music! So we danced the night away and met loads of amazing people, getting home only after the sun has risen.
A roller disco isn't a roller disco without the music. The soundtrack to the skate has to come from the people. Fortunately Malawi is a place that runs on music, you hear it everywhere! Malawi also has so many incredibly talented artists and so much great music. We can't wait to hear it played at the rink and get our skates on.
Keep locked in for the next blog post. Coming very soon.
Catch ya laters Skaters!
Love Skate Malawi x
Special mention to Rina! More on her in a later post