|CD & DVD Launch: Endangered traditions - Endangered creativity|
|Speech of Zikomo Kwambiri|
|OKUYIMBA MU BUGANDA|
Speech of Zikomo Kwambiri
Dear Dr. Moya Malamusi, Head of the Oral Literature Research Programme, Chileka and our host for this symposium and launch ceremony, Prof. Dr. Bender, Center for World Musik, University of Hildesheim, Germany, and partner of Dr. Malamusi and the German Government in this project,
Dearest Artists – present as well as in absentia, without whom there would be no CD nor DVD to be launched today, Hon. Minister for Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Dr. Ken Lipenga Dr. Elizabeth Gomani, Director of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture, Mr. Bernard Kwilimbe, Deputy Director of Culture in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Kubik from Austria
Dr. August Schmidhofer from Austria
Mr. Albert Bisaso from Uganda
Members of the Press,
Dear Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen
Takulandirani Inu Nonse
Welcome to this symposium on cultural traditions and the launch of the CD and DVD “Endangered Traditions – Endangered Creativity“.
It is a great pleasure for me to be here today with all of you. It was first in 2008 that Moya and I met and discussed the possibility for a cooperation in the field of the preservation of cultural heritage.
As you might know a previous cooperation had resulted in the widely acclaimed CD production "From Lake Malawi to the Zambezi. Aspects of Music and Oral Literature in South-East Africa in the 1990s" – still being popular today. In 2009 we were able to forward to the German Foreign Office the application for sponsorship for the cultural heritage project “Endangered Traditions – Endangered Creativity“. The application was met favourably and a sponsorship agreement was signed between the German Foreign Office through its cultural heritage program and the University of Hildesheim, represented by Prof. Dr. Bender enabling Dr. Malamusi and his team in cooperation with the University of Hildesheim to carry out the project. The sponsorship includes extensive research Dr. Malamusi conducted in 2010 as well as the archiving of his research both in Germany at the Center for World Music, University of Hildesheim, as well as at the Oral Literature Research Programme, Chileka and last but not least the production of the CD&DVD launched today. It is said that modern media more and more push to the background traditional culture. Oral traditions, music, musical instruments more and more seem to be replaced by modern music, electrical guitars, synthesizers, action movies, and commercialism. On the other hand a revival of almost forgotten music, its instruments and oral traditions has emerged. In Germany, for example, music inspired by the medieval has gained popularity for many years, now, resulting in high charts nominations of bands dressing in medieval clothing and performing using musical instruments they sometimes have to built themselves because the art of building those instruments almost got extinct. Most of these bands do use modern as well as replicated traditional instruments and some even go a bit farther and do include computer produced music with their traditional
instruments. A merging of old and new is the result and it can be amazing. For a merging to be possible, however, the old, the traditions, need to be preserved.
It is this preservation that is at the heart of the project “Endangered Traditions – Endangered Creativity“. And here, again, we have a merger of the modern and tradition: Traditional music captured on modern media and archived using the latest technology on two different continents at two renowned musical centres – one in Germany and one in Malawi.
It has been a great pleasure to work together with Moya and I am glad that I have the opportunity to personally meet his partner in this project, Prof. Dr. Bender, as well as the artists present here today. I would like to applaud you, the artists, for persevering - for caring for your instruments, for performing your art with love and enthusiasm and for preserving the rich and diverse traditions of Malawi.
The CD and DVD we are launching today is meant not only as a means of preserving but also as a means of making available to a larger audience your art, your voices and instruments and your stories so that they may inspire present as well as future generations.
I am looking very much forward to this day with you and your music and I thank you for being with us today.