Katoto scoops first position in ATEM regional drama

The Association for the Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) Drama Festival is back for the 2020 drama festival  -after a two-year hibernation -with rare and powerful performances by secondary school students across the country.

Katoto in action as Northern Region, who boycotted the competition during the last five years, have rejoined the contest this year.

Last Saturday was an important date in the ATEM calendar where schools across the country were competing at divisional level to find representatives at national level.

In the Northern Education Division (NED),  Katoto Secondary School students who were hosts for the divisional event are the champions with their powerful play titled Abiti under the theme Youth Advocacy.

Seven schools competed namely; Luwinga Secondary School, Ezondweni Community Day Secondary School, Mzuzu Government Secondary School, Nkhata-Bay Boys Secondary School, Kaseghe Girls Secondary School, Katoto Secondary School and Saint John Bosco.

On position three was Nkhata-Bay Boys Secondary School with a play titled The Incredible Challenge while Saint John Bosco grabbed the second position.

Kaseghe Girls, Mzuzu Government, Ezondweni CDSS and Luwinga Secondary School were positioned four, five, six and seven, respectively. The top three will represent the division at national finals to be held in March in Lilongwe on a date to be announced later.

Lumbani Jere of Luwinga Secondary School emerged the best supporting actor while Doreen Malimbwe from Ezondweni Community Day Secondary School was rated the best supporting actress. Faith Kawale from Kaseghe Girls Secondary School was named the best actress while Leonard Mwasomola from Katoto Secondary School was named the best actor.

The best English speaker was Joel Nyirenda from Katoto Secondary School.

Speaking to Nyasa Times after scooping the first position, patron for Katoto Secondary School Drama Club, Samson Nyirenda, said he was so overwhelmed with joy by the job well done by his students.

“The competition was really tough as schools came very prepared. Our preparations as Katoto Secondary School were so hectic. There are times when we were disturbed by demonstrations since our school is centrally located along the M1 Road and our ground is the gathering point for all demos. Parents could therefore not release their children to come to school in those times.

“But the group was so determined, united and courageous and the Headteacher and the entire management of our school supported us so much. The students are so excited. Most of the students in the group are form ones and twos and it was their first time on stage. We never involved the form fours as they are preparing for their national examinations,” explained the jovial Nyirenda.

Chairperson for NED ATEM, Michael Kunyenje, said it was pleasing to see stiff competition among schools at divisional level.

“We saw brilliant performances in this year’s regional competition. Three schools had to come out tops to represent the division at national level. Congratulations to Katoto Secondary School, Saint John Bosco Secondary School and Nkhata-Bay Boys Secondary School.

“My message to these three schools is that they should work hard to improve their performances as they will face even stiffer competition from other divisions at national level,” remarked Kunyenje who is an excellent playwright and Deputy Headteacher at Ezondweni Community Day Secondary School.

The oldest English stage drama competition, established in 1969, has for long been seen as a feeder nursery for English drama talent which has benefited a number of outstanding drama outfits in the country.

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