Hanging Out with Blantyre Creatives

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Last Saturday, on the 13th of April, Diana Nkhoma hosted the 3rd Blantyre edition of the Content Creators Meet-up. The few hours spent discussing about change and insights on the creative industry was free dishing of knowledge that we all were feeding on. But before I spill the beans on some of the topics that were on the menu, let me briefly detail the history of the meet-ups.

The first meet-up took place last year (forgive my memory for not remembering the exact dates). On the day, the main aim was to just introduce creatives to each other and hopefully spark collaborations between them. Due to its success, a second meet-up was scheduled in January this year, where creatives dished out on their improvements to their work and ideas were thrown around. Diana Nkhoma then took the meet-up to Lilongwe, with the same aim of connecting them and sparking collaborations.

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This meet-up thus was the third for Blantyre content creatives, but overall the forth. This specific meet-up and the discussions were under the theme:

CREATING FOR CHANGE

The beauty of this theme centred on the fact that, as creatives, we already create different content hoping that those that consume the content will gain a certain level of change towards their attitudes or behaviours. But what was put on emphasis was, are we really creating for significant change towards our communities.

The responses from a lot of the attendees showed that we really do not, most of us are just creating content we are mostly comfortable on but with no regard with the actual change in our communities. But what I learnt was, not that most do not want to entice the change, but are not adequately informed to do so. Like Diana said

I wouldn’t want to jump on movements, like killings of people with albinism, just based on hearsay or what I read in the newspaper, just because I want to jump on a bandwagon. I’d rather allow those that are more involved into such do their work, and if need be, help them shine the light.

Her words made me remember a dear friend of mine, Enelles Pemba.

She is a visual artist, a Mandela Fellow alumni, a peace advocate, and generally content creator. She has been involved in a lot of movements by connecting her craft and the messaging that she is selling. Some of her notable works are with her projects

And Sesa Youth Project which transforms trash to different artsy items

A true definition of a creative creating for change. She has made sure to bring forth movements, push her dreams forward, and portrays her messaging through beautiful art which is expressive. She is someone that teaches a lot on creating for change, hence a great mentor for those creators wishing to do expressive work just like her.

Apart from that, the discussions emphasised on how social media also plays a huge part in the success of change movements. A lot of the creatives put to light the hurdles that are experienced on social media. One of them being, a lot of movements in Malawi do not gain social media success due to the fact that our platforms are not welcoming and mostly exude negativity. A good example was the Twitter Malawi community which spends a lot of people’s times throwing shade and jabs.

Unfortunately, not much time was spent to see how the creators that were present on the day would collaborate with each other in efforts to help grow each other.

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However, we spent a bit of time discussing some of the contents that others were working on that would help bring change in the country.

Again, this was an amazing day spent with people with different views that was beneficial to all that were there. Unfortunately, unlike all the other meetings, not much wine was consumed. Sigh!

To the other creatives reading this, ARE YOU CREATING FOR CHANGE?

Answer in the comment section below.

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