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Bring ideas, minister tells fellow artists

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Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi has said that his door is open for artists to bring out their ideas for the development of the creative industry as well as tourism in the country.

Usi said this on Saturday night during the Miss Culture Malawi grand finale held at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.

“Culture is very key to the development of the country and this is why we need to value it. The creative industry needs to rise up and stop criticising but bring those ideas out. I have always said that my door is open,” he said.

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Usi said the Tonse government led by President Lazarus Chakwera has put much focus on the creative sector.

“There is so much that the government wants to do as far as raising the status of the creative sector is concerned. We need to unite and this is why I am saying I am impressed with what I have seen tonight. Miss Culture has shown that culture needs to be promoted and preserved,” Usi, who was the guest of honour, said.

Twenty-five-year old Malumbo Mtonga was crowned Miss Culture Malawi 2021.

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Mtonga, a graduate from Catholic University, proved her strength from the word go as she won the hearts of the audience as well as the judges.

As the winner, Mtonga got herself a full scholarship to pursue studies at Exploits University and also received other items alongside her first princess 24-year old Mwasalika Mfune and second princess 23- year old Murimu Kachitsa.

As Miss Culture Malawi, Mtonga is set to represent Malawi at the Miss Culture International involving other countries in South Africa later this year.

“I didn’t see this coming but I owe this to God. I am looking forward to achieving a lot in promoting the country’s culture,” Mtonga, who has an non-governmental organisation known as Sepalam, said.

Over 10 contestants battled it out during the first Miss Culture Malawi before narrowing the number to five.

Earlier, before selection of the top five, the contestants were presented with certificates in different categories through their showing during boot camp.

The contestants paraded in the categories of swim wear, office wear, dinner wear and traditional wear.

But when they got to top five, the judges, led by Carver Bhima, had to ask general questions linked to culture before Mtonga was crowned the queen.

Miss Culture International Chief Executive Officer Lorraine Kljajic said they were satisfied with the outcome and described the whole event as a success.

“I am satisfied with the outcome, now it’s time for Miss Culture to work. She will be involved in more work and we would like to thank various players for the support,” Kljajic said.

The audience, especially those in the VIP section enjoyed dinner during the event that was hosted by Times Group presenter Miriam Ntambo.

The pageant also had a surprise performance from Ugandan musician Levixone, who has collaborated with the country’s musician Wendy Harawa in the track ‘Zikomo’, which will be released today.

Levixone’s performance excited the audience and even forced Usi to get to the dance floor.

Real name Sam Lucas Lubyogo, the Ugandan musician, who also prayed for the nation, impressed with his song ‘Chikibombe’, which he had to repeat due to public demand.

There were also performances from Sangie and McLuther Mambala.

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