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Presbyterian Church of Wales

News 27/6/24

Ny Ako spreading love across Wales

A performing arts group from Madagascar is touring Wales. Ny Ako, which means Echo in Malagasy, is made up of 13 performers who have all taken annual leave from their normal jobs to be part of this tour. Prior to the global pandemic of 2020, Ny Ako came to Wales and Europe every two years and this is the ensemble’s first time back on Welsh soil since the impact of COVID 19.  Through dance, music, song and the spoken word, they hope to introduce the nation to the rich culture of Madagascar.

The tour has been organised by Miara Rabearisoa, a mission enabling worker with the Presbyterian Church of Wales, and hails from Madagascar.

Miara said: ‘There’s a strong link between Madagascar and Wales. The first missionaries who went to Madagascar were from Ceredigion. David Jones and Thomas Bevan arrived in Madagascar in 1820 by the invitation of Radama, king of Madagascar. And when they arrived in Madagascar, they started a school, a church and they learned the language, Malagasy. They translated the first Bible into our language, and its literary and scholarly standard was famous throughout Africa.

There are now millions of Christians in Madagascar. In fact, more than 60% of the Malagasy people call themselves Christians, and we are so grateful for what the Welsh missionaries started in our country. Ny Ako is our way of saying thank you to the people of Wales. We are an echo of the Welsh missionaries who risked their lives in bringing the gospel to us two hundred years ago.

Our concerts are joyous and full of Malagasy warmth. We hope that everyone who comes will feel the love that’s in our hearts for the people of Wales.

Miara, along with his wife Rev. Rebecca Lalbiasangi (a Presbyterian Church of Wales minister) and  their two daughters live in mid Wales.

Ends.

Notes: The attached images feature Miara and members of Ny Ako

For interviews, contact Gethin Russell-Jones, Press Officer, 07378 309268