Some Malawian youths have started an initiative to reach out to students with disabilities through arts.
Gospel artist Suffix, Special Needs Education teacher and sign language interpretor George Bonomali and Emanuel Kambuye are pioneering the cause especially for the deaf community.
They say often times the deaf are sidelined just as those with many other disabilities.
"We would like to reach the ones we can for now to let them know we care and think about them. Not that they are helpless but to let them know that there are many more people in the hearing community who care and willing to be part of their lives," Bonomali said.
Suffix is bringing a different dynamic through (Rap) music which the deaf community have less access to.
The star will be doing talks and performing a few songs as Bonomali interprets through Malawian Sign Language.
My homie @gabonomali and I have decided to do something for some schools for the deaf around LIlongwe!! We will both perform. As I Rap, he will be translating my lyrics in sign language. We will do this a couple of weeks from now, be on the lookout! #Rap_Signlanguage #love pic.twitter.com/D3SJqSawcQ— Suffix (@SuffixMw) August 7, 2019
They say they will carry with them a few goodies for the students too.
Bonomali said Suffix's talks will be centered on encouraging the students to work hard.
"We are in talks with the schools so I cannot disclose them until it's all done and confirmed. But we will begin when the next school year starts. We are targeting deaf students in secondary schools," he said.
According to Bonomali most of the deaf youths he has interacted with have fear of what they will become.
So this is Emmanuel one of my deaf friends. He's an aspiring rapper.😎 Dropped a few lines the other day. He's got mad skills!#MalawiSignLanguage #rap_and_sign #rapsign #signrapper— SpeakThruSignLanguage 🇲🇼 (@gabonomali) July 31, 2019
And oh, forgive my cheer leading 😄 pic.twitter.com/Wu1qjxqZ9I
"Another issue would be how it is so easy for them to be isolated because of the communication barrier with the hearing community. So all this is an effort to come from exclusion to inclusion," he said.
Detailing how the working relationship with Suffix came about Bonomali said they had a mutual cause.
"I didn't choose Suffix. He chose me! We've been talking about it for a while so now it's time to translate talk to real ground work," he said.