Veteran journalist and social commentator Mzati Mkolokosa has challenged students pursuing degrees in various arts disciplines at Mzuzu University (Mzuni) to be “creative enough,” arguing the world today needs the arts more than ever.
Mkolokosa, who works for the Development Broadcasting Unit (DBU) — a programme run on state run Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) — told fourth year students doing Bachelor of Arts (Education) Monday that they needed to make their field of study “relevant” to the world today.
“Countries that are advancing economically today including Japan are making it because they have been able to give basic arts background to their young before they can switch on to science disciplines,” he argued.
He corroborated his argument with a revelation that he was now upping his studies at College of Medicine despite the fact that he has a totally arts background.
“I’ve an undergraduate degree in journalism and a master of arts in literature but I’m now into the sciences at the College of Medicine. What I’m saying is that we in the arts can penetrate in other fields and make our discipline more relevant,” he said.
He urged students who are pursuing the Theatre for Development (TfD) course to think “outside the box” when engaging the arts on issues of national development in the country.
Mzuni’s arts lecturer and playwright Misheck Banda hailed Mkolokosa for “coming at the right time” as the world was only thinking the science and technology direction presently with a disregard towards the arts.
Mzuni is one of the Malawi’s public universities with an enrollment of over 3 000 students. Of these, a majority belongs to the faculty of education which comprises the departments of languages and literature as well as theology.