Those who pay close attention to the Malawian art scene are aware that the name Chigo Gondwe is not a new one. Since she first appeared in the entertainment industry in the early 2000’s, her every move has been difficult to miss. Chigo has an unrivaled portfolio that cannot be contained on paper.
Chigo is a poet, writer, and musician who exemplifies the phrase "one can be many things and be extremely good at each of them." She is an award-winning poet laureate writer, which means she is a poet who has been officially appointed by a government or conferring institution and is expected to write poems for special events and occasions.
According to her impressive resume, Chigo won the 2001 African Poetry Institute prize for USA poetry, served on the E wallet Search for Talent panel in 2014, and has worked on several high-profile broadcast events for South Africa's SABC channel. This post, on the other hand, chooses to focus on Chigo as a poet, worthwhile highly understanding that it is impossible to separate an artist from the many things they are.
If you've seen her performances, you'll agree with me that she has a strong stage presence that sets her apart from the crowd. She weaves her performance into spoken word, music ; pure poetry that soothes the soul and demands attention, making her unforgettable.
Just last week, on June 18th, she gave a heartfelt performance titled "80 circles around the sun" during Thabo Mbeki's (South Africa's second president from 14 June 1999 to 24 September 2008) 80th birthday dinner in South Africa. She has previously given several live performances, including one at a sit-in against gender-based violence in Blantyre.
We can only hope that she makes her artwork accessible through various media platforms. Such exceptional talent should be visible to the rest of the world.
Ps. Some of her performances can be found on YouTube.