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Dyson Billiat’s university education under threat

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At 14 years old, Dyson Billiat came to the music limelight releasing songs such as Mchikumbe Walira.

The song Mchikumbe Walira played frequently in some of the local radio stations and because of his voice some quarters likened him to Thomas Chibade.

He never went to school to learn music but he used his God given talent to record an album and his style of music was very traditional.

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His journey to recording an album started when he used to move around, coming all the way from Chiradzulu to Blantyre to perform for the people in the streets.

Armed with his banjo, he entertained people, who would in turn give him some money in appreciation.

And so it was during one of the performances that he ended up meeting Amoo Jussab, who was impressed with his talent and decided to sponsor him to record an album.

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According to Billiat, the album did well on the market.

Billiat was still in school and used to perform to assist his family and it was during this same time that Samuel Kaphuka came in and gave him a bursary to continue his education.

“I would like to thank Mr Samuel Kaphuka for the support. I started in standard five at Kaphuka Primary through to standard eight,” he said.

Billiat was selected to Zomba Catholic Secondary School but because of the bursary he was given, he decided to continue his secondary at Kaphuka until 2014 when he sat for the Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE) examinations.

He passed with flying colours scoring 15 points and later was selected to University of Malawi – Chancellor College in Zomba to pursue a Bachelor of Social Science degree.

His selection to the university meant his future was now looking brighter and back on track.

But now having done his first semester and looking ahead to second semester, Billiat’s university education looks bleak.

He is among the several students from different University of Malawi constituent colleges, who cannot afford to pay school fees.

“Since my father could not manage to raise the university fees I applied for a loan from the government and was only given half of the K275,000. This means I have to raise the other remaining money and on top of that I have to find money for food and accommodation,” he said.

Billiat, who lost his mother when he was young and currently stays with his grandmother said he has nowhere to get the fees and other necessities for him to successfully finish his university education.

“Being the first born, I thought I would help my other siblings once I finish university education but now things are back to the past years. As I said I thank Mr Samuel Kaphuka for the bursary and if other well wishers can come forward and help me out the better otherwise I may end up dropping out,” he said.

Billiat has not been active with music since he was given a bursary as he wanted to concentrate on his studies.

“It’s not that I dumped music completely but I wanted to concentrate on my studies and this is why I made it to the university. I am working hard and for those who can assist me I can assure them that they will not be disappointed. I actually have done well in my first semester,” he said.

Billiat said music was still part of his life only that for now he wants to make sure he finishes his studies.

“As I said I do not have enough fees let alone food and accommodation. For those who would like to help me they can call me on 0888967534,” he said.

Billiati was born on January 18, 1993 and hails from Changamile Village, Traditional Authority Ntchema in Chiradzulu.

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