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French Schools Drama back for 31st edition

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

French Schools Drama competition, which has been in the forefront promoting the French language in the country but also unearthing drama talent, returns this weekend for its 31st edition.

The competition starts with regional finals on November 10 at Mzuzu University in the Northern Region, Likuni Boys Secondary in the Central Region and Jacaranda School for Orphans in the Southern Region.

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Chairperson of the organising committee of the competition, Poya Chapweteka, who also happens to be Jacaranda Cultural Centre and Maison de la France Director of French Studies, said Tuesday 18 secondary schools have confirmed their participation.

The secondary schools set to battle it out for places in the national final in the Northern Region include Katoto, Marymount, Phwezi Boys and Phwezi Girls.

In the Central Region contest, some of the secondary schools participating are Chipasula, Darlo, Dedza, Dzaleka, Likuni Boys, Lilongwe Girls and Robert Blake.

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The Southern Region will see a battle from among others, defending champions Jacaranda, Joyce Banda, Lunzu, Malosa, Mulunguzi, St Michaels and Zomba Catholic.

“The competition aims at promoting culture and the learning of French among other aspects. The judges will focus on originality, creativity, acting skills and quality of language in each performance,” Chapweteka said.

He said as usual winners will walk away with different prizes.

The French Schools Drama contest comes barely a week after National Arts Schools Festival held its regional contests.

Chapweteka said the national final of the French Schools Drama competition would be held in March next year.

“The national final will be one of the events to celebrate the Mois de la Francophonie, a period during which the French language and cultural diversity are celebrated around the globe,” he said.

The French Schools Drama competition is organised by Jacaranda Foundation with support from the French Embassy and the past has seen Total Malawi also being part and parcel of the sponsors.

After toiling for five years without getting any result, Jacaranda School for Orphans Secondary School last year got it right as they were crowned the 2017 French Schools Drama Festival champions.

Last year’s competition was celebrated under the theme Tout ce qui brille n’est pas or meaning ‘All that glitters is not gold’.

The theme for the 31st edition is La discrimination.

This year, Jacaranda Foundation also introduced the French Song and Storytelling competition which is part of promoting French and uplifting the creative industry.

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