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Music Crossaroads Malawi on Friday celebrated 10 years of existence at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe where people enjoyed different performances for free.

Skeffa Chimoto, who recently became the biggest beneficiary of Airtel Malawi ringtone royalties for the period 2013 – 2015, pocketing over K3.2 million, is a product of Music Crossroads.

The musician, nicknamed The Jamming Machine, for his versatile live acts, also performed during the celebration which attracted an impressive audience.

There were also performances from Daughters Band—an all female band— Hear Us Children, teachers from Music Crossroads, teachers for all Music Crossroads, Music Crossroads Mozambique and Music Crossroads Zimbabwe.

Music Crossroads Malawi Director, Mathews Mfune, said it has been a long journey for them to hit 10 years and that they are happy with the achievements they have registered.

“We are happy that, in the 10 years of being an independent organisation, we have done a lot in teaching the youth musical skills. Apart from that, we, together with our colleagues, have been undergoing training in the months of October and November,” Mfune said.

He added: “In the past, when people saw a musician, they viewed them as useless and the situation was worse for female musicians, who were perceived as ‘prostitutes’.”

Mfune said people now see music as a career and that most organisations are using music to disseminate different information.

“We are happy to say it here that Music Crossroads Academy enrolment has increased. Plans are there to expand into other areas and we are looking at awarding certificates, diplomas and degrees,” he said.

Mfune hailed the government, the Royal Norwegian Embassy and European Union for the support in different projects.

“We call upon others to come out and help us so as to propel the music industry so that musicians can start benefiting from their sweat,” he said.

Mfune said Music Crossroads Academy was there to create training opportunities for the youth in Europe and Africa.

Skeffa hailed Music Crossroads for the success stories they have registered.

“I was a product [of Music Crossroads] in 2011 but so much has happened now compared to our time. The country has not done well in terms of putting up structures to develop art. Most musicians in the country use inborn talent,” Skeffa said.

He said Music Crossroads sharpens inborn talent through its academy.

“I just want to call upon parents to nurture the talents of their children and not discourage them. Those inborn talents have to be sharpened; musicians need to read music and master the basics of music,” Skeffa said.

He said it was not too late for fellow musicians to go to Music Crossroads and be trained.

“I am happy that I have seen some musicians who are established becoming students. This is the spirit and, for me, I will also be part of it and if people see some changes in my performances they should know it’s because of Music Crossroads,” he said.

Some of the notable musicians who are students of Music Crossroads Academy are Esau Mwamwaya of The Very Best and Wailing Brothers’ lead guitarist Takudziwani Chokani.

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