Menes la Plume - National Ambassador
Trésor Nzengu Mpauni, widely known as ‘Menes la Plume’, is a multi-lingual slam poet, Hip Hop artist, and writer born in Lubumbashi, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). He fell in love with writing and public performance at the age of nine when he was chosen to represent his school at a regional storytelling showcase. He launched his professional career in 1998 as a member of ADKS crew, and as a solo act, and in the following years toured all across the DRC, becoming well known nationwide.
In 2008 he was forced to move to Malawi and now lives at Dzaleka Refugee Camp. One of his main missions is to use the power of words, music and culture, to raise awareness about issues surrounding refugees, and to promote unity.
In 2012, he founded Tumaini Letu (Swahili for “Our Hope”), a nonprofit organization based in Dzaleka, which promotes cultural exchange among refugees and Malawians. Its flagship program is the annual Tumaini Festival, which each year transforms Dzaleka Refugee Camp into an international festival ground and draws thousands of people to Dzaleka to celebrate intercultural harmony, mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence through musical and cultural performances from Dzaleka, Malawi, and around the world.
Menes also maintains an active stage presence as a poet and musician, touring nationally, and billed at the top events in Malawi, such as the Lake of Stars Festival, Blantyre Arts Festival, and Mwezi Wawala Festival. Menes released his debut album ‘Far from Home’ in 2015, and the story of its making was featured on Al Jazeera’s ‘Witness’ series. In 2018, Menes began touring internationally, and was a featured performer at the 2018 Brave Festival in Wroclaw, Poland. Menes also performed at the 2019 Spring Meetings of the World Bank, Washington DC, USA, Voice of America (VOA), Washington DC, USA and Bushfire 2019, eSwatini (Zwaziland).
As a motivational speaker, and advocate for refugee rights and peace in Africa, Menes continues to spread his message in schools, universities, outreach programs, and with the broader public through events such as TEDx Lilongwe. In 2018, he was an invited speaker at the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Menes is the recipient of awards including the 2018 Segal Family Foundation’s Social Impact Incubator Rising Star Award and 2018 World Bank’s Social Inclusion Heroes Ward for the Sub-Saharan African Region.