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Michael Usi to grace Patani Mwase’s memorial

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TALENTED —Mwase

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi will be the guest of honour during the memorial show of renowned actor and playwright Frank Patani Mwase to be held at Blantyre Sports Club on January 15 which also happens to be Chilembwe Day.

The memorial will start with a church service at St Columba CCAP Church in Blantyre and thereafter another event at Misesa Cemetery where Mwase was buried before an evening show at Blantyre Sports Club.

Usi, who is also a renowned actor and comedian and trades as Manganya confirmed his presence on Sunday.

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“Frank Patani Mwase was a great artist. His death last year was a blow to the creative industry. He played a crucial in raising the theatre bar in the country,” he said.

Usi has since called on theatre practitioners and creatives to dig deeper in their work and also take time to research their work if they are to win the hearts of people.

“Sometimes we take it for granted but we need to nourish the audience with proper information which is well researched. It is not just a matter of entertainment but also playing a role in tackling issues,” The minister said.

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Usi who has played a crucial role in disseminating key issues through drama series such as Tikuferanji, said artists need to be conversant with issues to remain believable.

“There are times as artists when we fail in our duties because we lack knowledge or information on what we are talking about and as a result people fail to believe us. This is why I am emphasising on research. We have an issue to do with Covid vaccination for instance; if people are to believe in us then we have to have proper information,” the minister said.

The memorial show at Blantyre Sports Club will have activities such as music to be offered by ethno-musician Waliko Makhala, a long-time friend of Mwase and together with late Du Chisiza Jr established Wakhumbata Ensemble Theatre (Wet) and poetry by Benedicto Wokoma-atani Malunga.

There will also be a play titled The Divorce which was written by Mwase.

“This is a play that Frank wrote and some renowned actors, who worked with him are part of the cast including Jeremiah Mwaungulu,” spokesperson of the organising team Emmanuel Maliro, said.

Mwase, a two-time Entertainer of the Year winner, who came from Nkhata Bay District, died of Covid on January 15 last year. He was born on January 29 1968.

Until his death last year, Mwase was National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) board chairperson.

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