Association of the Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) is one of the platforms that has played a very big role in unearthing talent for the theatre industry in the country.
But it seems there are other grounds that have come up and have done well in helping unearth drama talent and they include the National Schools Youth Arts Festival (Nasfest) led by Light of Youth organisation(Lyco) and French Consulate which has been hosting the French Drama competition.
And last weekend it was all smiles for students in secondary schools when they battled it out in the National Schools Youth Arts Festival and French drama competitions.
Lyco hosts the National Schools Youth Arts Festival with support from visual artist Elson Kambalu through his Art House.
The competition runs in the three regions before the national finals and it started in the Southern region last weekend at Malawi Posts Corporation Hall in Blantyre where over six schools battled it out.
At the end of it all Nazarene Private Secondary School came first impressing the judges of Smith Likongwe, Max DC and Ben Msuku.
On second position was St Theresa Private Secondary School with Nyungwe Girls Secondary School on third and Nyambadwe Private Secondary School was fourth.
Lyco Executive Director James Kitchen said they were satisfied with the turnout of schools in the Southern region.
“Four schools have made it from the Southern region and next up we are going to the Central region on November 14 and later the Northern region on January 23, 2016.”
We will hold the national final on February 6, 2016,” said Kitchen adding that the competition is also held with support from National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam).
However, Kitchen still bemoaned the poor quality of plays compared to the past years and said that schools need to pull up their socks by stitching good productions worth appreciating.
While Lyco was hosting its drama competitions, French consulate was also hosting the French drama competitions in the Southern, Northern, Central and Eastern regions.
French consulate representative in the country Luch Deschamps said they were satisfied with the plays which were staged by the schools.
“It’s very exciting this year, more and more schools came up and this is the 28th edition of the competition this year since it started. The aim is to promote the French language but also at the same time help propel theatre in the country,” said Deschamps.
Coordinator of the competition Poya Chapweteka said the competition is bringing a lot of results and that many of the students have gone on to do well during French examinations.
With two schools picked each from the four regions, Jacaranda Secondary School and Stella Maris made it through in the Southern region while in the Central region defending champions Dedza Secondary School and Likuni Boys made it through.
In the Eastern region Police Secondary School and Malosa Secondary earned themselves places in the national finals for coming first and second while in the Northern region Phwezi Girls and Marymount made it through.
“It surely be a tough battle looking at the schools that have made it through and so next up we have the national finals. Otherwise we are happy with the plays we have seen,” said Deschamps.
The French drama competition comes up after the French consulate also hosted a dictation competition early this year.
Some of the judges in the Southern region for the French competition included journalist Kondwani Kamiyala
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues