James Kennedy, Girl Effect Malawi Country Director, said: “Zathu is the third youth brand that Girl Effect has ever made. The key thing about our youth brands is that they are locally built, tapping into local talent, local creativity and local culture. All of the issues that our brands tackle are slightly different… in Malawi in particular the insight that we uncover is to address a very deep, entrenched gender divide.
“Gender segregation from puberty can lead to a lot of problems down the line, where a relationship between a boy and a girl is very transactional and can only be sexual and it can lead to higher rates of HIV prevalence and gender-based violence. Zathu is trying to cut that off at the root, showing that you can bring girls and boys together. We communicate that message in a multi-faceted way, so we have music, radio drama, radio talk shows and also digital and clubs. At the heart of it are the six individuals who make up Zathu band, talented and humble hard-working young individuals.”
Michael Gough, Senior International Relations Policy Adviser at the Scottish Government, tweeted: "I’ve been lucky enough to see some fantastic presentations from Ambassadors, Diplomats and Ministers, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a delivery as engaging and inspiring as from the Zathu band on their work in Malawi today."
Each of the band members, aged between 17-22 years old, were all too happy to answer questions from Girl Effect partners and staff in the London office.