By Sam Banda Jnr:
Solomonic Peacocks Director, McArthur Matukuta, said Monday the festival will be back bigger next year.
The Easter Theatre Festival returned to the stage on Friday after a three-year break due to financial challenges and ended yesterday.
The festival was held at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre and ended Monday with performances from Madalitso Nyambo, Dikamawoko Arts play and Vilipanganga Poetry Movement.
“We are happy with the quality of the performances. They were of high standard and people enjoyed every moment. We will be back next year and, despite running on a smaller budget of less than K1 million, everything went on smoothly,” Matukuta said.
Unlike on the first and second days, when the festival received good audiences, the third day saw low patronage where people enjoyed a rich line-up of Chichiri Prison Cultural Troupe, Nkhokwe Arts and poetry performances from Sylvester Kalizang’oma, Luckier Chikopa, Raphael Sitima and Yohane Pangani.
“We were not particularly interested in having a huge audience but we just wanted an audience that would appreciate what we had on the ground. We have also managed to link up with other partners and this is why we are saying next year things will be bigger,” Matukuta, whose group staged Pa Mtondo – The Cradle of Humanity, said.
Members of Erlebnis Theatre from Hannover City in Germany, who starred at the festival on Saturday, said theatre was a vehicle of disseminating different information and that Solomonic Peacocks did well to create such a platform.
The group brought a different set of theatre, which engaged the audience on the issues affecting people in the society.
Kalizang’oma, who has been commended for his well versed and crafted poem ‘Unkalindanji Moyo’, said he was happy to perform at the festival to a different audience.
“This is a different platform all together. Again performing here just shows the progress poetry has made over the years. Poetry is no longer a small meat which was being treated unfairly in the past. The challenge now for us is to continue producing quality poems and that would mean more opportunities,” Kalizang’oma said.
Sitima took advantage of the platform to deliver his master piece ‘Chala Changa’, among others, which speaks volumes of the 2014 elections.
The audience also got interested in a play titled Mapiri ndi Moyo by Nkhokwe Arts, which is made up of ex-convicts.
The play Mapiri ndi Moyo, follows a research the group conducted in Mulanje which revealed the extinction of the special Cedar tree.
The festival run under the theme ‘Creating Sustainable Wealth for Artists’.
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