JB calls on Malawians to celebrate life of their parents: Mtila trophy up to K10m

President Joyce Banda has said it is only proper for every individual to honour their parents regardless of what status they held in society.

President Banda said on her part she decided that she should honour her late father, Gray Ntila by organizing the Gray Mtila Gospel Music Competition which is held annually in appreciation of his love for music.

“My Father was very strict with us when we were living in the police lines. Our father was a disciplinarian. He could chase us to school and make us water flowers no matter how late you came back home because he loved flowers. He also taught us how to sing because of his love for music,” recalled President Banda when she presided over the finals of the competition at the Chancellor College’s Great Hall in Zomba on Sunday.

The President thanked God that the trophy which started in 2007 at Domasi at a small scale had become a platform for people to praise God through music.

President Banda with representatives of participating choirs

Banda who is the founder of the Joyce Banda foundation International which funded the competition therefore, appealed to all Malawians to respect and honour their parents regardless of their status saying she is  in her status because of the efforts of her father and Mother.

The President said her father was hard working and joined the Malawi Police Service from the lower ranks but went on to study music on his own up to diploma level until he became the first Malawian to teach at the Kamuzu Academy where only whites were allowed to teach then.

“My late father used to tell me that everything is possible and that everyone was an architect of their own destiny,” said Banda.

Banda announced that the trophy had been raised to K10 million from K5 million starting next year adding that all the 229 choirs that joined the competition this year would receive a reward the least being a consolation prize of K15, 000.00.

The 2012 competition attracted 229 choirs from various denominations including those from the Islamic Religion from Zomba district with 53 groups making it to the finals.

In his sentiments, Minister of Tourism, Parks and Wildlife, Daniel Liwimbi said not only did the function honor the President’s father but it also helped promote art and culture because it had exposed the hidden talent of singing from the various participating groups.

Liwimbi said the ceremony had also helped to consolidate the peaceful co-existence among believers of different religious persuasions namely the Christians and the Muslims in the country.

In the women traditional music category, St Cecilia Choir of the Roman Catholic emerged the winner while in the women classic music, Chiyanjano ladies choir of the CCAP came first.

In another category of the youth tradition, St Charles Luangwa came first, while in youth classic music, Thundu CCAP Youth Choir topped the list whereas Fatima choir took first position in the Islamic choir category.

In the five categories, the first choirs went away with a certificate, a trophy and K140,000 cash each while K120,000, K80,000, and K60,000 went to numbers 2, 3 and 4 respectively.

The remaining 28 choirs out of the 53 that made it to the finals, received a consolation prize of K40,000 each while the other 180 choirs that registered and failed to reach the finals were consoled with K15,000 each.

Hoisting the the Grey Mtila trophy

JB adddressing the audience

One of the choirs performing

President Mrs Joyce Banda presenting cash prize to one of the winning choirs.Pic Francis Mphweya-MANA.

A choir performing

First Gentleman presents a trophy to winners

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