We were delighted to welcome Scottish record-breaking piper, Ross Jennings, to help us celebrate Dr David Livingstone’s 205th birthday in Malawi this week.
Hundreds of Malawian school children who have links to Scotland also joined us for the celebrations. The children read out poems about David Livingstone to celebrate his birthday.
There was also a special birthday cake made for the occasion with Dr Livingstone's picture on it; Ross and the Malawi Scotland Partnership's CEO Vera Kamtukule did the honours of cutting the cake!
The event was live-streamed on the Malawi Scotland Partnership's Facebook page.
The celebrations took place outside St Michael’s and All Angels Church in Malawi. Built 130 years ago, this church is the first permanent Christian Church erected between the Zambezi and the Nile. Rev. David Clement Scott, himself a Church of Scotland missionary, designed and managed the building of this church 1888-1891.
The event brought a close to the Scotland Malawi Partnership’s #BuyMalawian2018 Campaign whilst celebrating Dr David Livingstone’s birthday. The 5-19th March BuyMalawian campaign looked to build Scottish markets for quality Malawian exports like coffee, rice, tea and sugar, to support sustainable economic development.
Ross Jennings, an Edinburgh University graduate, set off on his adventure over four years ago and has already piped in 77 countries. His stop in Malawi adds one more country to the list as he pays homage to fellow Scottish explorer Dr David Livingstone on his 205th birthday in the city of Blantyre, Malawi - named after Livingstone’s birthplace in Scotland.
Ross Jennings said: “Dare I say it; Malawi might just more beautiful than Scotland! It's an absolute pleasure to be here playing the pipes, and given the Scottish link it has been all the more enjoyable. Never thought I'd be able to celebrate the birthday of David Livingstone in Africa, let alone in Blantyre. I’m looking forward to the celebrations today!”
David Hope-Jones of the Scotland Malawi Partnership said: “We’re delighted to have Ross Jennings helping lead the David Livingstone birthday celebrations in Malawi. Livingstone established the spirit of friendship and dignified partnership between our two nations which endures to today. It’s wonderful to have so many young Malawians with Scottish links coming out for this celebration. Dr Livingstone’s legacy remains alive and well in the warm friendship between our two nations.
“Through his travels, Dr Livingstone sought to support local economic development in what became Malawi by developing commerce and new trading routes. What could be more fitting than using his birthday celebrations to help raise awareness of our Scotland-Malawi ‘BuyMalawian’ campaign. “
Elena Trimarchi, Learning Manager for the David Livingstone Birthplace Project said: “We are really delighted that David Livingstone’s birthday is being marked by Ross playing the bagpipes in Malawi, in such a significant place. Linking the cultures of our countries through Livingstone’s legacy is such an integral part of the on-going HLF-funded Birthplace Project. It’s a really exciting time for Livingstone’s stories to be told.”
Photos: Chris Parkes