Poetry, music, songs and dances among others yesterday were the main headliners as they coloured the official opening of the multi-million Jacaranda School for Orphans double-story hall and classrooms in Blantyre.
The opening of the new structure and the performances signified one thing – that Jacaranda School for Orphans loves art and that now with the new hall students have found a home for showcasing their art and that in the classrooms they are ready to learn different art forms.
One of the students Alinafe Botha could not hide her excitement with the double story hall and classroom saying it has come at the right time as they were looking for such a platform for performances.
"Now we have a platform where we can hold performances and practice, it was difficult in the past as we used to practice and perform in an open area and it was difficult during rainy season. Again in the classrooms we will have time to learn different things including Information Communication Technology (ICT)," said Botha.
The official opening, presided over by Blantyre City Deputy Mayor Wild Ndipo, was all colourful and attracted the presence of several other people, including politicians, clergy, traditional leaders, artists and 24 students, teachers and parents from Shanghai American School in China.
Jacaranda School for Orphans Founder Marie Da Silva said the new structure, which has cost close to K70 million was not for them alone but the community.
"At Jacaranda we have always promoted art and this new structure is just one of the ways of propelling arts as students will now be able to do arts, music theatre and sports apart from education in a better place. Most of our children are orphans and one of the things to uplift them is through expression hence bringing this facility to be used for performances, telling stories and other different arts," said Da Silva, who hailed Brazilian company Vale and Shanghai American School for the support.
She said the past years has seen them performing in other schools but now they will be holding performances at their own venue and that other schools will now be coming to their place.
Da Silva also said the hall will be open to the community in that they can be holding other cultural activities including weddings.
"We are also looking at screening movies in the hall during weekends and these will target the students as well as the community. Many young people are watching bad movies out there but we want through our screenings for the students to learn and advance their education and for the community to learn too but also have fun," she said.
The Deputy Mayor said the opening of the new structures will be of great benefit to the local community since Jacaranda has developed various outreach programmes for the communities in several villages around this place and that the youth will be given access to this new facility.
"I believe the new structure will be great credit to educational and other services offered by Jacaranda and I wish to once again thank Shanghai American School in China and Brazilian company Vale, for jointly sponsoring the construction of the structures," he said.
Shanghai School Head of delegation Robert Burke said they were impressed with the facility saying they will continue to assist Jacaranda revealing that this year they raised US$ 130,000 and that US$ 70,000 went towards the construction of the hall.
Some of the performances that spiced up the launch include Agorosso, Waliko Makhala, Floor and Jacaranda Steppers, Jacaranda School Choir and performances from Shanghai students Albert Kao, Chris Lee and Michelle Mao.