ST Patrick’s, Zomba Catholic and Our Lady of Wisdom secondary schools on Saturday cruised to the Association of Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) national final after triumphing during the regional finals held at HHI Secondary School in Blantyre.
The three were among the nine schools that battled it out during the regional final and will thus represent the Southern Region during the final set to take place in Lilongwe later this month.
During the regional final, St Patrick’s came first with their play Too Late for Tears; Zomba Catholic was second with The Victim while Our Lady of Wisdom came third with Expedition Gallop.
The other secondary schools that participated were Providence,Michiru View, HHI, St Charles Lwanga, Police and Chiradzulu.
The nine schools made it to the regional final after excelling during the divisional competitions.
One of the judges Paul Sezzie, described the regional finals as stiff and that the nine schools put up great performances.
“The audience was also good save for the last two plays. There was a lot of noise when the last two plays were staged but all in all everything ended well,” said the poet.
Sezzie also said that the productions from the schools were very good and that it was very difficult for them to come up with the winners.
“There were a variety of themes which were tackled and they included corruption, violence, exploitation, poor governance and child abuse. Generally, there was good evidence that of creativity in quality and usage of props costumes and make up. Language use was up to standard save for a few mispronunciations,” he said.
Sezzie said the secondary schools employed great effects in their plays although he was quick to say that it was boring and monotonous especially the use of the freeze technique.
The other judges were Angelina Maliro and James Tambula.
Sezzie said Puma Malawi supported the event with golf shirts for the Best Actor and Actress, Best English Speaker, Best Supporting Actor and Actress.
Our Lady of Wisdom produced the Best Script while the Most Captivating Scene came from St Patrick’s.
The Best Actor was Alex Massi from Police Secondary School while Elizabeth Nkhoma from Providence Girls was the Best Actress.
Chifuniro Kabichi from Michiru View Girls was the Best English Speaker.
Paul Yadidi from Charles Lwangwa was the Best Supporting Actor while Mtisunge Chigwe from Our Lady of Wisdom was the Best Supporting Actress.
Meanwhile Atem President Fanuel Mapira has said all is set for the national final but they are waiting for funding.
Mapira said as Atem they are struggling with funding to successfully hold the competition every year.
“As Atem we do not have adequate funding but we have had Zodiak coming in and they have asked us for a certificate for them to release funding for this year. But again apart from them we need more sponsorship to go towards organisation and prizes,” he said.
The Atem president could not be drawn to say the exact date and venue for the national final now that they are through with the finals in the three regions.
“As an association we have already presented our budget to the main sponsor and we are just waiting and so we have not come up with the date yet although we are ready with everything. We should be coming back to you to tell you the date and venue,” said Mapira.
He revealed that the schools that will represent the Northern region during the national final are Katoto, Mzuzu Government and Ekwendeni Girls while the Central Region will be represented by Tsabango, Hope Greenlight and Likuni Boys.
Although Atem is not as vibrant as it used to be in the past, it has played a crucial role in unearthing talent.
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