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Elson Kambalu triumphs in MBC Innovations Awards

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Renowned visual artist Elson Kambalu on Friday was all smiles when he grabbed the Arts Award in the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) Innovations Awards held at College of Medicine Complex in Blantyre.

Once again visual arts proved that it has what it takes to help develop the country when it dominated in the Arts Awards category.

Kambalu, who runs La Galleria in Lilongwe and has been involved in several projects through arts, shrugged off competition from fellow nominee Eva Chikabadwa.

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Chikabadwa is a fine art lecturer at University of Malawi – Chancellor College and has been working on a project of telling the story of Mbona.

Kambalu said after receiving a trophy and certificate during the event whose guest of honour was President Peter Mutharika that the award will motivate him to do more.

“I am very happy, arts has been sidelined for a long time but now in receiving this award, it has shown that the creative industry is now moving the right direction,” said Kambalu.

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He said he didn’t see this coming as the creative industry is huge and full of talented artists.

“This award is not for alone, it is for all other artists and I urge them to keep on working hard and aim at doing the best in whatever they do, there are lots of challenges on the ground but we must not give up, “he said.

Kambalu said he is currently working on several projects including the Manhood Enlargement project and documentaries he is expected to release in March.

Kambalu also heaped praise on his fellow nominee Chikabadwa saying she is doing a good job.

Chikabadwa said she was happy to be nominated although she would have loved to win the award.

“I am happy to be nominated and I thank God for that. I am sad I didn’t win but there is always next time. This has motivated me to keep on working hard and I say congratulations to my colleague Elson Kambalu,” said the female artist.

The MBC Innovations Awards have debuted this year and have taken the style similar to the ‘Our People Our Pride,’ which was created by former MBC Director Bright Malopa.

Speaking during the event which delayed to start, MBC Director General Aubrey Sumbuleta said apart from informing and entertaining the nation through different programmes and news, they have taken their duty above average and thus through the Innovations Awards would want to inspire the nation as well as promote innovation.

Several people heaped praise on MBC for the event but observed that there were gaps which need to be looked into in the next event.

“Again MBC needs to own this function, it is theirs but some of us had difficulties even to take photographs with our personal cameras because some state house staff were all over barring people from doing so saying the function is for state house especially with the presence of the president,” said one participant.

At some point the President even seemed to have no idea on stage when he was being asked to present an award to Innovators of Innovators which went to Sautso Ndalama.

Sautso, who also claimed the Disability Award, has proved that disability is not inability by using his feet to produce music videos but also operate a Public Address System during functions.

There were also technical glitches during the event which affected even the sound of the live performances.

Kambalu and other winners in different categories which included sports, health, education, agriculture, science and technology received K500,000 each and will travel to Egypt for one month and China for one month.

Sautso as the overall winner also received K1 million courtesy of MBC.

The creative industry proved it offers more when it brightened the event with performances coming from among others Ben Mankhamba and Jenna Sisters, Paul Banda and Alleluya Band, Lucky Stars Band, Park Town Band from Nkhata Bay and traditional dances performed in different districts.

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