By Vincent Khonje
In a move that seamlessly blends entertainment with a noble cause, Malawi’s revered music icon, Lulu, and his Mathumela Band joined forces with Mchinji’s Girls Activist Youth Organisation (GAYO) to amplify the message of quality and equitable education through a social media campaign.
As the world strives towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG4) – ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education for all – GAYO decided to bring convergence of music and advocacy to the youths in the district.
Executive Director for GAYO, Richard Batch said they decided to engage Lulu as they were having a social media campaign to help put on the spotlight the challenges faced by girls in attaining education in rural areas and advocate for policies and programmes that address these barriers.
“The social media campaign is about promoting quality education in Malawi. We urge government to increase funding for education in rural areas, including providing scholarships and bursaries for girls,” said Batchi.
The campaign which was beamed on different social media platforms also inspired different young, up and coming local artists who shared the stage and sent strong message to their fellow young people in Mchinji.
Mphatso Kamchacha from Mindset Youth Organisation said the social media campaign was important as it has afforded to spread a message in a unique way.
“I am inspired and at the same time entertained. As a young person I had fun but at the same time I got the message laid across. I am sure all my friends, even those who were just following on social media platforms, have been inspired too,” said Kamchacha.
Summing up the show, Diirector of Planning and Development for Mchinji, Martin Pindankono said improving education is one of the things that has to be advanced if the district is to have meaningful development.
“If we are to develop, it is us the youth, and for us to develop we need education. We need to put education in front together with all the talents that we have and we should resist from drugs and alcohol abuse,” said Pindankono.
The Mchinji youths were entertained by local act. Apart from Lulu, artists like Lil Peksy and Crew, Chipolopolo Boys, Gumzy, Black Empire Crew, J Twista, Mad Eye, Benjamin Kuchepa and Dingo took to stage and hit out familiar tunes.
GAYO is implementing Girls Education Advocacy in the Region (GEAR) project with emphasis on SDG 4.
Apart from Malawi other countries implementing the project include Zambia and Zimbabwe.