Legendary playwright and actor Frank Patani Mwase’s memorial will be held on January 15, which also happens to be the day he passed on.
Spokesperson of the organising team and long-time friend of the celebrated actor, Emmanuel Maliro, said of the memorial will be held at Blantyre Sports Club.
The memorial will start with a church service at St Columba CCAP in Blantyre in the morning and thereafter Misesa Cemetery, where he was laid to rest, before other activities at Blantyre Sports Club, where people are set to sample a performance of a play which was written by Mwase.
“We have several activities and they include music, poetry and drama. In music, one of the performers is Waliko Makhala, who played a big role in the formation of Wakhumbata Ensemble Theatre together with Frank Patani Mwase and Du Chisiza Jr and, then, in poetry we have Benedicto Wokomaatani Malunga,” Maliro said.
He said, in celebrating Mwase’s life, they will also screen some of his works, including some of the adverts he crafted.
“Frank Patani Mwase did a lot in the creative sector and, so, we also have a play that he wrote and it will be performed by some of the renowned actors,” Maliro said.
He said that apart from formation of Wakhumbata, which went on to dominate the theatrical circles, winning awards, Mwase was also instrumental in the resurrection of drama in English.
“There was no market for drama in English and Frank, Du and others build the market with their mature productions and rare style of acting. Frank also brought fun and creativity in the advertising sector,” Maliro, who is also a renowned actor, said.
Upon his death last year, Makhala, who is also an ethno-musician, described Mwase’s demise as a cultural tragedy and that the creative industry had lost a genius and talented artist.
“I grew up sharing the stage with Frank Patani Mwase. The establishment of Wakhumbata Ensemble Theatre is historic. I was at Henry Henderson Institute (HHI) Secondary School in Blantyre and used to bring Patani along for the school’s drama club rehearsals. Patani was very passionate and was following everything with keen interest,” Makhala said.
He said Du Chisiza Jr noticed Patani and that these encounters resulted in the establishment of Wakhumbata Workshop Theatre to Wakhumbata Prophets Theatre to Tiwuke Performing Arts and finally to Wakhumbata Ensemble Theatre.
Until his death last year, Mwase, who died of Covid, was National Theatre Association of Malawi Board Chairperson.
Mwase, a two-time Entertainer of the Year winner, was from Nkhata Bay District. He was born on January 29 1968.