Govt asks Malawian actors not to copy from Nigerians

Tawonga Nkhonjera's play Malawi Kwacha tackles taboos surrounding sexuality. Photo by Sarah Berman.

Malawi government through officials from the department of Arts has pleaded with local dramatists and actors to resist from copying from what the Nigerians and other countries do in their films but rather try to bring something new and unique with a 100% Malawian flavour.

This was disclosed by Performing Arts Officer Isaac Chingola who was the guest of honour at an inter-secondary school drama festival competition held at the Kamuzu Institute for Sports and Culture in Lilongwe over the weekend.

“The best thing is to have our own brand of theatre to be recognized with as Malawians, we need something that when somebody sees should be able to say this is Malawian stuff the way we recognize some movies and acting styles from other countries,” said Chingola

He further added that his department is planning to meet all theatre groups to advise them on what they can do to improve the arts industry acting/drama in particular.

Chingola further urged the media to help the government in disseminating more information about Malawian culture so that the theatre world can have enough information to add to their respective plays.

The inter-secondary school drama festival which attracted six secondary schools from the central and northern region was organized by the National Schools Youth Drama Festival (NASFEST).

NASFEST also splashed awards to three people who have made tremendous efforts in achieving and promoting arts in Malawi.

The three awardees are Joyce Mhango Chavula who is an actress, director and writer, Smith Likongwe an Arts and Theatre Lecturer at the University of Malawi Chancellor College and Mc Arthur Matukuta who works as an artistic director at Solomonic peacocks theatre Each of the awardees received a shield.

Speaking to journalists, NASFEST Executive Director James Kitchen described the 2012 Inter-Schools Youth Drama festival as a great success.

He further revealed that discussions are underway with some other neighbouring countries to turn the event international.

Biwi Community Day Secondary School were crowned the 2012 Youth Drama Festival Champions with 80 points, Robert Break came second with 74 points while famous Matindi came third 73 points.

The theme for this year was “Tears of the girl child” and was aimed at highlighting some of challenges faced by a girl child in Malawi which includes early marriages, school dropout, and sexual abuse among others according to kitchen.

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