Though life of a refugee is never easy, the weekend was full of fun, laughter and joy as the annual Tumaini Festival rolled into life, bringing music, drama, poetry, fashion, food and interactions at Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Dowa District.
From Thursday, people at the camp and surrounding areas were busy as they were entertained by dance, music, visual arts and many other aspects of the festival.
In an interview, the festival’s founder Menes La Plume said the festival was inspired by the need to provide a unique platform for people of diverse backgrounds to expose, nurture and appreciate different artists.
“Since its inception, Tumaini Festival has impacted the lives of the people at the camp through several initiatives such as dance and theatre groups that keep young people busy,” he said.
La Plume said the festival has also been a tool for social and cultural exchange.
“No one imagined an event could positively impact refugees and their hosts economically, culturally, socially and psychologically,” he said.
He added that the festival is evidence that art has the power to bring a difference in the lives refugees and asylum seekers.
During the festival, artists took turns to perform and entertain patrons who attended the events. The artists included Skeffa Chimoto, Tay Grin, Zeze Kingston, Code Sangala and Peter Mawanga.
On his part, Chimoto described Tumaini as unique.
“There are times when you perform at Tumaini and observe from people’s reactions that the event is beyond music. But hope for the hopeless,” he said.
This year, the festival marked nine years of existence.