Passionate about the arts, McPherson Ndalama and Akulu Lipenga joined the Students with Dreams Programme in 2014. Through the programme, they created a project called Zaluso Arts. Zaluso is now a vibrant collaborative of over 100 young artists. They have been commissioned to undertake a number of exciting projects bringing together their passion for arts and social change. They have also been recently selected to participate in Lake of Stars London!
“Basically, the project started off to promote art in Malawi by creating a community where artists can be able to come together to collaborate, share ideas on art work and also art marketing. Social media pages and groups were primarily used as platforms for the community to communicate and collaborate.
“The project aimed at advocating for a more positive and serious attitude towards the visual arts in general, so to empower local artists economically. It also aimed to exhibit the artworks and artistic abilities of local artists from which they may earn global recognition and a wide range of customers. Furthermore, it aimed to showcase Malawian culture and in the process, preserve the same as a result of displaying local artworks. As artists, we also used this opportunity to also market our art- works and to develop our skills in Art- making.” Says Mcpherson.
McPherson explains how the project impacted his studies at Chancellor College.
“My SWD project helped me so much in my school. It helped me to decide what I was going to major in (Art) and also inspired my dissertation project which was about promoting art in Malawi.”
After graduating from SWD, MacPherson became a mentor in the SWD programme.
“My mentor experience gave me a change to impart the leadership skills that I learnt the previous year to other dreamers.”
Zaluso Arts did not just die after graduating. The dream was further cultivated!
“Zaluso Arts continued after graduating from SWD and college. It is now an established business and we currently do art- work, painting and graphic designing. We have been able to even employ some people for temporary works that we have, and we are hoping to actually expand and be able to employ people on permanent basis. We have been involved in various major projects such as running a workshop on 'Creating a Malawian Superhero’ at the Festival of Ideas, creating a mural used in a pop video for Zathu and painting schools with educational murals for Voluntary Service Overseas.”
“Students with Dreams Programme has impacted my personal life, my school and my career in a very positive way. The impact that the programme has left on me is very enormous and I am glad that I joined the programme when I was in College.”
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