Malawi: The World Famous Guitar Maker of Dzaleka
14 April 2016

Patron Palushang Bin Kilangana with two of the handmade guitars he made. (Gushwell F. Brooks/Jesuit Refugee Service)
Without a bank account, without being able to conduct his business freely outside of Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, and without the resources to setup a state of the art, flashy website, Patron has nonetheless managed to sell his guitars as far afield as Norway, Ireland, USA and within and around the camp.

Dzaleka, 14 April 2016 – The skill and craftsmanship that goes into making a guitar is immeasurable. Not only should the guitar maker be able to craft an object of beauty from wood, but the guitar maker should also ensure that the instrument is pleasing to the ear.

Even if these skills are present, the guitar maker has to sell these handcrafted instruments. Patron Palushang Bin Kilangana, a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo, (DRC), is talented as a carpenter and craftsman, as well as a musician. However, his true success emanates from the fact that despite the fact that he is limited to the confines of a refugee camp and has access to limited resources, he has managed to set up a global business.

Without a bank account, without being able to conduct his business freely outside of Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi, and without the resources to setup a state of the art, flashy website, Patron has nonetheless managed to sell his guitars as far afield as Norway, Ireland, USA and within and around the camp.

The simplicity of a social media page, the local postal and mailing system as well as hand tools are the simple implements of Patron’s trade. He agrees; had it not been for the political persecution he fled from his home country, with greater freedom, he would have been a massive commercial success. He is driven and resourceful however, as a JRS-JC:HEM - Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) along with Jesuit Commons: Higher Education at the Margins (JC:HEM) – Community Service learning Track (CSLT) graduate in Community Counselling, JRS is fortunate to be working with someone like patron that epitomises the resilience of the human spirit.

Patron has achieved a lot with very little, and below follows his account of what guitar making has meant to him:







Press Contact Information
Gushwell F. Brooks
gushwell.brooks@jrs.net
+27 11 618 3404