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French envoy dangles Paris ticket as prize

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

French Ambassador to Malawi and Zimbabwe, Richard Boidin, on Saturday announced that the best actor and actress in the French Schools Drama competition next year will fly to Paris, France.

The French envoy, who was the guest of honour, made the announcement during the grand finale of the 31st Edition of the French Schools Drama competition held at Stella Maris in Blantyre that saw Jacaranda School for Orphans defend the championship.

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Boidin said he was impressed with performances of the seven finalists from the three regions during the grand finale which attracted a huge turnout and saw tears of joy and pain from the winners and losers on the day.

Apart from Jacaranda School for Orphans, the other finalists were Mulunguzi from the Southern Region, Dedza, Darlo and Robert Blake from the Central Region with Marymount and Phwezi Girls from the Northern Region.

“I have enjoyed every moment of the performances today. So I would like to announce that the best actor and actress next year will fly to Paris, France,” he said amidst a delirium of cheers from the audience.

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He said later that he would have loved to do more but, for a start, it will only concentrate on the best actor and actress.

“The two winners will stay in France, go to theatre, visit the museum and participate in other activities. I would like to thank the Malawian schools for making efforts to learn French,” Boidin, who was accompanied by his wife, said.

He said he decided to grace the occasion because it is one of the initiatives aimed at promoting the French language.

“We are committed to support Jacaranda Foundation despite not having the French Embassy in Malawi and we think we have to reopen it because the link between Malawi and France is great. It is a great honour that Malawian teachers are doing a tremendous work to teach students the French language and we appreciate the efforts,” he said.

Running under the theme ‘La Discrimination’, Jacaranda School for Orphans in Blantyre underlined its strength when it defended the championship with their play Pourquoi which in English means ‘Why?’, outclassing six other finalists.

“We worked very hard. It was tough but we are happy to defend the championship,” Louis Zulu, a French teacher at the school, said.

The play which speaks volumes of Lindiwe, a blind woman who works very hard to contest for the position of Member of Parliament,only to face her brother Samson, who had been separated from her because of circumstances.

Lindiwe suffered the challenges of discrimination for being blind and at the same time being a woman.

As winners, Jacaranda received a trophy, books, solar lamp courtesy of Total Malawi, medals and other items.

The school also shined when it claimed the Best French Actor, which went to Chimwemwe Luwanda, who also grabbed the Best Supporting Actor accolade.

Jacaranda School for Orphans also claimed the Best Actress, which went to Farida Khan, while the Best Actor accolade went to Willard Malizani from Robert Blake.

The top individual winners received medals and bicycles, among other prizes.

On second position was Darlo Girls which was also described as the most improved by the judges. They also received a trophy among others prizes.

Marymount made sure the Northern Region was represented when it claimed the third position. The school also produced the Best French Actress in Rosario Nyondo.

Apart from showing the best of the French language, the finalists also showed the best in terms of drama to win the hearts of the judges who included journalist Kondwani Kamiyala, lecturer Timwa Lipenga, actors Robert Magasa and McArthur Matukuta and Maxwell Chilembwe.

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