BUTTERFLY MEDIA CENTRE
Since it opened in April 2012, the media centre has become a creative dynamic space for the Nkhata Bay community. It consists of two rooms full of media equipment and information which is free to use for the local community. It comprises of a recording room with microphone, mixer and laptop and a larger room stocked with a projector, radio and computers for editing.
The recording room is full of the latest equipment for the community to record original music along with being able to practise mixing music as well. It is widely known that some of our past volunteers taught the first ever Malawian to mix music right here at Butterfly! It is always truly inspiring to hear new sounds emerging from the recording room and it is full most days with many musicians coming to visit to record their talents. We have also previously taught some local children about becoming a DJ, by using software on the computers which we would like to continue into the future. There is the perfect opportunity in Nkhata Bay in this area as if people are good enough then they can learn from and hope to record with Matthias Stalnake of ‘Spare Dog Records’ who has now produced albums for several artists from Nkhata Bay and got them performing at the Lake of Stars. One, Gasper Nali, went on a European tour last summer visiting Holland, Scandinavia and the UK, it was that successful that this year, 2019, he has been invited back and will be playing at Glastonbury Festival. Quite a difference from Nkhata Bay!
A more recent volunteer set up a new page on our website called Nkhata Bay Talent, the idea being that these artists, indeed any person with a separate internet presence whether it be a blog or an Etsy site, can gain an extra platform from which to showcase themselves. Media students and volunteers in this area can bring so many more skills and ideas in this area as they are so much more connected in their normal lives than people in Malawi.
The computers in the bigger room have been set up as work stations where people can learn journalism, music, film and photography editing. We have basic equipment for people to use and worksheets for people to work from, although hands on teaching from volunteers and people who are experienced would make it the best from what we have to offer. We have lots of equipment for interested students to use such as a video camera, camera and voice recorders which are perfect for anyone interested in making films or wanting to get into journalism. We offer Photoshop lessons, and can set up courses in photography to show the community how to use a camera. A recent volunteer Mike, from A Million Smiles project worked with some kids and is encouraging them now to use his project as a platform for their photography.
There is also a projector positioned opposite a perfect wall to show weekly educational films and inspiring TED talks. I have recently been linking with more media colleges and intern places Worldwide to try and attract more skilled volunteers here to keep this space dynamic, and Solomon our media centre manager has recently started spending two days a week at the Kandoli FM building to try and increase our presence there.