By Charles Mkula
Blantyre – Colonisation and the influence of foreign traders and missionaries eroded the African cultural identity and authenticity.
In Malawi, Pamudzi Soundscape Foundation for Arts, Culture and Social Development is trying to restore pride in African culture. Pamudzi Soundscape is a nonprofit outfit fronted by CEO Tapuwa “Tapps” Bandawe.
Tapps says, “Culture provides invaluable insights into people’s identities through common attitudes and perception towards life,” adding that it also plays an important role in economic growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Tapps notes that the one of the biggest challenges in restoring African culture’s pride of place on the continent is the lack of documentation or recorded information sources.
“This is why we came up with a project titled Preservation and Safeguarding Malawian Cultural Heritage through Cultural Systems in the Information and Digital Age, where Pamudzi is digitally creating, producing, repackaging and sharing local content on Malawian culture and traditions,” he says.
“We are giving a long-time future to our heritage to encourage Africans to appreciate foreign cultures without losing their authentic cultural identity, values and existence,” says Tapps, pointing out that foreign influenced materialism and inferiority complex has eclipsed the meaningful African livelihood styles, dressing, languages, eating habits and sexuality.
Pamudzi will be establishing cultural centres across Malawi, where heritage and related content will be available for public consumption. The organisation will be making use of ICTs and the Internet to reach as many people as possible.
Tapps continues: “If our culture is well-nurtured and developed, Malawi will be able to attract more tourists, have more people employed and earning a decent living, and strengthen our national identity.”
Pamudzi uses different development communication models like edutainment, creative media, radio and television content production, theatre for development, social mobilisation and advocacy to stimulate discussions on culture and heritage.