Sinetre's Music Initiative Helps Malawi Youth Overcome Life's Challenges
Charles Sinetre trains youth in music basics to address poverty, depression, and moral issues through Nkhadze Youth Alive in Balaka-Chionetsero Cham’bwinja.
Malawi: Many young people across the country continue to face a range of challenges, including poverty, unemployment, and unequal opportunities, writes Chionetsero Cham’bwinja.
Some of these difficulties have led to depression and immorally dangerous activities, like alcohol, drug, and substance abuse.
Balaka district in southern Malawi is no exception.
Despite the efforts of the government and non-state actors to address these challenges, they have not been able to reach all of the youth. However, one individual is making a difference.
Charles Sinetre of the Alleluyah Band in Balaka has taken action through his organization, Nkhadze Youth Alive, by training young people in the basics of music as a means of survival.
"These challenges cannot just be ignored," said Sinetre.
"We need to take action. These days we have many cases of mental health and depression on the rise because many youths don’t see a future for themselves."
Sinetre added that he has seen success with the initiative, with some beneficiaries now working as musicians, in government institutions, and even in the Malawi Defense Force's music department.
Beneficiary Owen Kalima said he joined the initiative in 2014 and has since mastered playing the guitar and supporting himself.
Another beneficiary, Mwayi Mpinji, learned to play the drums, write songs, and sing and is now working at the MDF's Cobbe Barracks Music Department.
"I can assure you that many of us who were living hopeless lives have benefited positively from this initiative," Mpinji said.
"I was able to fund my education and complete my MSCE exams as well as a Diploma in Community Development. I even flew to Kenya for further studies in music.”
The young people trained by Nkhadze Youth Alive are also taught to play the guitar, drums, and choreography, and they work with the organization on various campaigns.
Mpinji advises other youth around Balaka to take advantage of this skills initiative and to be patient when things don't work out as quickly as they hope.
With the help of Sinetre and his initiative, these young people are finding hope and a brighter future through music.