Local movie, ‘Mwayi Wotsiriza’ by Theatre International (TI) has received an impressive reception on Friday night at Golden Peacock Hotel in the Malawi’s capital, Lilongwe where the film was screening for the first time.
Mwayi Wotsiriza is a film about sexual abuse of girls and working conditions of teachers in rural primary schools.
In the film, a frustrated teacher ‘propositions’ a daughter of an economically vulnerable rural woman and impregnates her. The system, already baffled by inadequacy of teaching staff, has to find a way of disciplining him.
Reactions after watching the one hour movie, from the audience who filled the hall were mainly good appraisal to directors and producers for making a realistic and quality work which they said is a true representation of current plight of primary schools teachers and girls as well as how communities often responds to such situations.
“This is a remarkable work. It reflects reality on the ground in our communities and towns. And it ends on the good note.” one of the woman in the audience said.
Some of the reactions were questions to invited government officials from Ministry of Education and Ministry of Gender on how education system responds to the situation presented in the film, on girl child protection and how best can people respond to those situations.
Others made their observations by presenting real stories similar to situations presented in the movie while sharing some best practices that other few communities are doing in dealing with such problems.
And more importantly, there were comments with proposed solutions and call for action by every person.
When responding to some of the questions from the audience, one of the invited guests at the launch, Dr. Joseph Chimombo, Director of Basic Education in the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, acknowledged that Mwayi Wotsiriza highliths almost all challenges being faced at the moment in the education sector.
“As Government we are aware of these problems. We are very much concerned and we are at the moment working hard to end them,” he said
The under-secretary for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social welfare Dr. Austin Owen Luhanga while indicating that the ministry is also at the moment making number of strides to ensure that a girl child is being protected, also made a positive remark about the film.
“The film has given all of us some food for thought to critically examine the plight of both the teacher as well as the girl child. Solutions are in our hands as the TI Artistic Director did indicate.
“Let’s continue from where the film stopped, lets discuss and find solutions together so that the girl child is protected. This film has set a right direction of how we can solve the problem” added Luhanga
Welcoming the film, McDonald Maluwaya, the Chief Arts Officer in the Ministry of Sports and Culture commended TI: “The mission….the vision…. Superb! The strategy…all wonderful! And what touches me the most is the idea of promoting cultural expression while appealing to the minds of the international world…”.
He promised that government will continue with number of programs that promote the film industry in the country.
Maluwaya indicated that government is working hard to end challenges that the film industry is facing in the country such as lack of formalized markets, growing rates of piracy, high costs of producing movie and also technical expertise.
Before comments and questions from the audience, the Artistic Director for Theatre International Chancy Mauluka said the movie was inspired by his encounter with one teacher ‘victimized’ by the system and one girl victimized by the victimized teacher in Kasungu District.
Mauluka then emphasized that the movie aims at inciting debate on how Malawi can effectively deal with some of these problems including on reporting channels when such issues arise and how communities can solve such problems.
Later in an interview with Nyasa Times, Mauluka who said was overwhelmed by the high numbers of the audience also appreciated their response.
“It was encouraging to hear some responses from audience; that it was good that the film does not offer solution, because actually when I was developing this film it was to ignite such discussions for action. As one of the viewers saw, it would have been very simplistic to offer a solution” he said.
“This movie is something that can be used for social development and is a good example of communication for social change” added Mauluka.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :