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Lois gets first nomination in Bafta Scotland

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WINNING FILM — Lois (right) starring in ‘Group’ on BBC Scotland

It takes quite a big deal to make a name in the creative industry and this includes acting. One has really got to dig deeper and work extra hard to negotiate their way to the top.

The film industry in the country is still in its infancy but it is moving in the right direction looking at what has been done on the ground.

Names have been made in the industry and they include award winners – Shemu Joyah, who prides in producing award winning movies such as The Last Fishing Boat and The Road to Sunrise, Joyce Mhango Chavula and Flora Suya.

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Such is the beauty of creativity and working in the creative industry.

Joyah, Suya and Chavula are just examples of the names that have excelled in the industry to put the country on the map but besides that, there are also names of Malawian sons and daughters, who are in different artistic disciplines and flying the country’s flag on the international platform.

In the acting and film industry, there are names outside the country pushing to sell Malawi to the world and one would not skip names of actors such as South Africa-based Eugene Khumbanyiwa.

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But there are also other names walking this same field in Europe.

Does the name Lois Chimimba ring a bell to you? The answer is simply no.

Little was known about this Malawian actress based in United Kingdom until recently when she got nominated for a prestigious award in this year’s British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) in Scotland.

Not an easy feat to be nominated in such top awards which are equivalent of the Oscars but Lois has managed to do that. It is even more interesting that this is Lois’ first Bafta nomination.

Bafta honour the best in film, games and television produced in Scotland.

Lois’ nomination is one of the highlights of the 2020 nominations as she is the first time nominee for the film titled Group. She has been nominated in the category of Best Actress. The other first time nominees are Mirren Mack for The Nest and Jamie Sives for Guilt.

Lois is an actress, known for Trust Me (2017), Doctor Who (2005) and There She Goes (2018).

The other highlight in Bafta nominations 2020 is that a movie – Guilt has received five nominations plus a nomination in Audience Award and four nominations for Elizabeth is Missing.

The awards which include two outstanding Contribution Awards and the new Audience Award will be presented at the digital ceremony on December 8 2020.

Edith Bowman will host a socially distant, closed-studio show alongside Sanjeev Kohli and other guest presenters.

Director of Bafta Scotland Jude MacLaverty, said they are delighted to announce the nominations which highlight the phenomenal level of talent and creativity in the film, game and television industries within Scotland.

Lois describes ‘Group’ which has led to her nomination as a comedy-pilot for BBC.

“It was a one-off and this is why the nomination has surprised me,” she said.

Lois said she was happy to be nominated alongside two actresses, who have worked hard over the years.

“To be up with top actresses is something special and this is why I said, this has taken me by surprise. I am grateful for the nomination. I am happy that I can now be counted among my peers,” she said.

Lois said she was not feeling any pressure of winning the award.

A fulltime actress, Lois is involved in theatre, television and audio work.

She said that her father Jordan Chimimba, who hailed from Monkey Bay passed away in 2016.

“My father met my mother, Carol Chimimba in Scotland. She is Scottish. They were both studying to be engineers at Strathclyde University. When my father returned to Malawi, post- university, my mum went with him,” Lois said.

Now in her 30s, Lois, said she was born in Scotland before her parents moved back to Malawi.

“I would love to come back to Malawi with my friends to visit a number of places,” she said.

Her parents lived in Lilongwe and that they also had a stint in Blantyre.

On her acting career, Lois said she never imagined she would go all the way with acting as she fancied music more.

“It was a primary school friend, who encouraged me to join dance classes but this was not what I wanted. For me I wanted to be a pop star. So, there was dance, singing and acting but I ended up falling in love with drama class,” she said.

She then started going for drama classes regularly and received so much support from her parents before going for a two-year acting diploma in Scotland.

Still looking for opportunities to build her career having dumped her singing interest and opted for drama, Lois then went on to pursue drama at a school in London, United Kingdom.

“It’s a challenge really to pursue a career like acting because you need to have money to go to a drama school but I call myself lucky because I have received so much support,” the actress said.

She said she works hard to perfect herself as an actress and that she practices positive thinking.

“To girls and women out there, don’t give up, work hard to realise your dreams and most of all love what you do and strive to bring out the best,” Lois said.

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