You TubeFacebookTwitterflickrGoogle plus
Monday, 25 March 2019 05:24 am

Wellington sister act raising money for Malawi

Jul 9th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News

IN TUNE: From left, Tala Moemai, Sophie Wooles, Anna Wooles and Frances Leota at the fundraiser.

THREE Wellington sisters are lending their musical talent to help educate children in Malawi.

Frances Leota and Anna and Sophie Wooles have performed two fundraising concerts at Lyall Bay’s Maranui Café to raise money for a group of children living on the Nyika Plateau.

Anna, 25, has dubbed the fundraising efforts Magnus in Malawi because it centres on a song called Magnus that she learned during her Jazz residency at Stanford University.

When Anna, right, travelled to Malawi last year to visit her parents, who both work as managers of a trust that supports the Nyika National Park, she ended up singing the song to a class of young students.

“When mum introduced me to the class they sang me a song and mum says ‘why don’t you sing them a song?’ which put me on the spot, so I just decided to sing Magnus because it’s a simple little lullaby.”

She ended up teaching the children that song and she was blown away by their natural ability and their commitment to learn it.

It soon became a project that she did with the class during her time there, resulting in a video of their rendition of Magnus.

When Anna returned to New Zealand, she wanted to do more to help the group of children in that local school.

“There is no secondary school on Nyika Plateau and the cost of sending a child to a school in another village is beyond the reach of some of the families,” she says.

Music seemed the obvious path towards fundraising, so she enlisted the aid of her musically driven family, to raise money.

“We were always brought up surrounded by music,” she says.

“Dad plays the guitar and sings and we were always a big church going family.”

Anna performed with her boyfriend, Frances and Sophie, another sister’s partner and her 13 year-old niece for two concerts at Maranui in May and June.

They treated the crowds to covers of Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Toto songs, as well as a challenging African song Kutemwana.

Anna hopes to use the money raised to buy decent sound equipment so she can record a few songs with the children when she returns to Malawi in August.

She has arranged a list of songs to teach them, bought a microphone with the money raised so far and she also wants to hire a sound technician to go with her.

PLAY MONEY: Hats were used to raise money for individual instruments at Maranui.

Making a small CD and selling it will hopefully generate enough money to offer single scholarships for the Nyika Plateau children, to study at secondary school.

“One of the biggest things I learnt last time in Malawi, was you have to be very flexible with everything over there,” she says.

“By the time anything happens you’re usually on plan E. Plan A doesn’t work so you’ve got to go to plan B, plan C, plan D.”

The logistics of distributing the money is something she will discuss with the principal of the school.

She is focusing on raising one lump sum for the children, see what can be achieved and go from there.

“What I like most about this project is that the kids get the chance to be involved in something bigger than themselves,” she says in her online fundraising page.

“They also get to see their message sent around the world. It gives them a voice.”

They have already done that, with their video (below) being screened at the Maranui concerts recently.

The video has also be played at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Gretchen Parlato, who wrote Magnus and tutored Anna at Stanford, screened the video at one of her concerts at Carnegie Hall.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

is a Whitireia journalism student.
Email this author | All posts by

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Radio News