In the official kick-off to the fourth season, the continental journey, that lives through this project, takes flight in the warm heart of Africa. Episode 1.54 (When Culture Comes Calling with Qabaniso Malewezi) brings listeners to Malawi, the native homeland of host Kondwani Mwase, and the starting line for this very special and powerful season.

In this episode, Kondwani is joined by artist, poet producer and all-round creative culturalist Qabaniso Malewezi to talk about his process, inspiration and pursuits. Qabaniso shares his thoughts on culture and the role of art in our society including; African music’s unique and distinctive spirituality, the unavoidable entanglement of politics and art and gaining access to decision-makers that drive the renewal and revival of Malawi’s arts and culture sector.

Qabaniso Malewezi


  • Qabaniso’s artistic journey was started by his late father, a fellow musician and storyteller, as well as politician, who taught him how to play guitar. He was also inspired and taught by his uncle who played the organ.
  • Q, as some call him, was involved in successful drama club at school and after moving to South Africa was surrounded by culture which further inspired him.
  • One of the ways Qabaniso’s passion for Malawi’s musical sector is in being one of the founding members of Hip-Hop group Real Elements.

Click here to listen to the podcast:

[1.54.. MALAWI] When Culture Comes Calling with Qabaniso Malewezi • 54Lights (spotify.com)

54 Lights producer, Kondwani Mwase is Ethiopian-born, Canadian-raised and proudly Malawian. He’s a Pan-Africanist, a dreamer and a storyteller whose enthusiasm for his guests is (hopefully) palpable. 

By day Kondwani is the Executive Director of Audience Engagement at Canada’s National Arts Centre and by night (and light) Kondwani is the host and exec producer of 54Lights.  

He is a work in progress. Informed by life in delightful diaspora, driven by desire to reshape the African narrative and determined to listen, love and learn.


54Lights is on a bold mission to broadcast inspiring stories from Africa to the world. Creatively designed, passionately produced and curated for (and from) the community, the show is devoted to showcasing the continent, its people and its allies.

54Lights Podcast | Driven to light up Africa, one story at a time.