Malawi misses out on Africa Magic Viewers Choice Awards


Director-c u m-actress, Joyce Mhango Chavula, raised the bar when she won the first Africa Magic Viewers Choice Best Southern Africa Movie Award for her movie Lilongwe at Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) which took place in Nigeria this year.

This was meant to be a curtain raiser, or at least an eye opener to film producers. Unfortunately fate has its own way of turning the tables around.

This was the case when the list of nominees for 2017 AMVCAs was unveiled by duo of popular Nigerian actress and TV presenter, Mitchelle Dede, and renowned Kenyan actor, radio presenter and TV host, Fareed Khimani during a Wednesday special live broadcast which aired on all Africa Magic channels on DStv and GOtv.


When nominees for the fifth edition of the prestigious Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCAs) were revealed, it transpired that no Malawian film or actor had been nominated. Maybe there were no entries from Malawi.

Award winning actress, Joyce Mhango Chavula, doubts if at all there is a film industry in the country.

“Before we can even talk of the percentage of men versus women in the industry, we need to consider if we have an industry at all and if we have it I’m sure it must comprise both women and men as we strive to build the industry. The award signifies that there is a future for the local film industry and having a woman to win gives hope to many aspiring women in film,” Chavula said at the time.


Mhango-Chavula argued that, culturally, people think that the entertainment industry is not meant for women. Therefore, women believe that they would rather take on other jobs even when their hearts yearn for art jobs.

“I believe that men do have their own challenges but women suffer more [than them] due to the cultural factors,” she said.

Mhango-Chavula said there is need to empower girls to take arts as a profession and not just a hobby.

“Parents or guardians should allow their children to freely explore who they really are and support them if they seem to have a passion for arts. There should also be active participation of different stakeholders and key players to encourage women to take on leadership roles in the sector,” she said.

In an earlier interview with Film Association of Malawi president, Ezaius Mkandawire, he said there is an improvement in terms of number and quality of movies produced currently.

“Since Shemu Joya’s movie Seasons of a Life, a lot of movies have been made and most of them have been nominated at different international awards ceremonies and festivals; for instance Joyce Chavula’s No More Tears,” he said.

However, Mkandawire admitted that in spite of the increase in the number of movies produced, there are a lot of problems that these film producers are facing, making it hard for them to make it to greater heights.

“In Malawi, there are no film grants to help film producers in producing their movies and the only organisation that offers these film grants is the Film Association of Malawi and the money that we offer them is just too little,’’ Mkandawire said.

Mkandawire claimed that they only give the film producers who already have money to produce a movie an additional K250, 000.00 but since the art of film making is expensive the money is not enough.

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