The 2010-2020 decade has been great for urban culture ranging from music, fashion and lifestyle, film as well as arts and craft in Malawi. The decade has seen home grown artists turning passion into business as well as becoming global icons.
Besides dominating on major global TV stations such as Channel O, Trace, MTV and BBC, musicians Onesmus, Gemini Major, Zani Challe, Hazel Mak, Tay Grin and fashion designer Lilly Alfonso have gone as far as winning international awards.
Since the launch of Buy Malawi Strategy, in which civil servants were directed to wear national or traditional wear on Fridays, the local fashion industry has become lucrative whereby creating employment for many Malawian youths.
The introduction of fashion events such as Africa Fashion and Arts Festival, Mzuzu Fashion Show, WAFE, UMP Fashion Awards just to mention a few, have also made the industry competitive whereby bringing the best out of the artists.
Speaking of awards, despite the newly introduced Nyasa Music Awards, The Urban Music People Awards (UMP) remain dominant and most prominent arts and entertainment awards in the country. However, there is more room for improvement on the pre and post production of the awards altogether.
As a matter of fact, there is room for more awards ceremonies and festivals in the country. Thanks to Lake of Stars, Sand Music Festival, Tumaini Arts and Cultural Festival and Blantyre Arts Festival for their consistency and always making sure that they deliver each year despite the financial constraints.
Further, a pat on the back must be given to new festival entrants such as Art In The Park, Euro Film Festival, Lilongwe Shorts and Mzuzu Urban Music Festival.
In the previous decades, arts and crafts artists as well as filmmakers were not given a platform to showcase their respective talents. We look forward to seeing Art In The Park, Euro Film Festival and Lilongwe Shorts surviving throughout the next decade.
Nonetheless, the last decade was nothing short of controversy, scandals and beef. Some publicity stunts turned bad, the Beanca Wa Dada leaked nudes being the latest.
We wouldnt forget probably the most highly publicized beef in Malawian Hip Hop, DJ Lomwe versus Tay Grin, the battle of egos Jolly Bro and Fredokiss versus Phyzix, a beef which has just resurfaced over the 2019 UMP Awards.
Then there was Gwamba versus Slessor and Tanaposi, the beef that had been dragging for years before Slessor and Gwamba blew up while Tanaposi was already an established rapper with hits like “Kuzimva Juice”.
Another heated feud between Gwamba and Third Eye ensued around 2017-2018. The rappers were at loggerheads, exposing each other on social media after a Soul Label Entertainment deal went sour.
As we enter the new decade, let’s put everything behind and focus on building the industry as we also celebrate the lives of late Mafunyeta, Frank CN, A.I, Kennedy Mkombezi among many others.
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