Stage fever is an English invention: that is what people say in Nigeria, where performing in front of others is not the same dilemma as in many places in the ‘western’ part of the world. It is the same here in Malawi. Yesterday I spent some time at a youth meeting in the compound of Stephanos, close to Blantyre in the south of the country. Stephanos has many projects for health, agriculture and so on, and also an orphanage where many children get education at primary and secondary school level. On Sundays, they come together for Bible study and singing and they love it. Groups of young people stand in front of the group as a whole at the first invitation they get: happy to sing, without any stage fever. They simply don’t care, they are not busy with the thoughts of others (‘what they might think about me’) with the music itself.
They are spontaneous and very talented. Their sound has a good volume, because the absence of stage fever gives the result that everybody is singing full heartedly and not like in the Netherlands with their mouth half closed because of shame or whatever other reason that is withholding them. And it is maximum melodious, with tunes that are different from western or Asian music, so that we can recognize them immediately as African melodies.
(photos or video about this performance will be uploaded as soon as Malawi internet connections work better than right now…)
More blogs about Stephanos:
Pigs, kids and why it works in Malawi
Seba culture and diversity workshops in Malawi
More blogs about the culture of Malawi:
President in the warm heart of Africa
When inclusiveness met apartheid