Msadala honoured at Warm Heart Poetry Fest


Renowned poet and writer, Alfred Msadala, was on Sunday surprised with a Lifetime Achiever Award at the inaugural Warm Heart Poetry Festival held at Blantyre Cultural Centre.
The veteran author, who is also Pen Malawi and Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) president, dished out a short poem before he was decorated with the award.
Apart from a wooden trophy, Msadala, who also pens a column titled Literary Talk in The Sunday Times, received K100,000.
“Firstly, I should say that this is a surprise award. I didn’t expect it, because when they were inviting me to come, it was all about performing. I am excited with the award and all I can say is thank you to the organisers,” he said.
In love with literature, Msadala welcomed the Warm Heart Poetry Festival, saying it is another platform for poets and other artists to showcase their works.
“Whenever such things come up, some of us get excited because it is where you get to sample works of different artists,” Msadala said.
Sponsors of the festival, Bayete Naturals, have since said Msadala deserved the award and that they would promote the trend of honouring people as one way of promoting the creative industry.
“As Bayete Naturals, our aim is to help the country on health issues and other areas. But we also felt it wise to cover the creative industry, which is very important in, among other things, disseminating information,” Babangoni Chisale, an official from the organisation, said.
Chisale, who is also a poet and performed during the festival, said there were a lot of exciting activities on the day that kept people on their toes.
“Bayete Naturals is a Malawian company which also loves the arts and we will strive to be there. What we have seen today has shown that there are interesting things in the arts,” he said.
Chisale said their budget for the festival this year was on the lower side but said they were impressed with this year’s activities; hence, they would double the funding next year.
He also said they would be offering support to bring poets and other artists from outside to be part of the Warm Heart Poetry Festival.
Poet, Sylvester Kalizang’oma, who is one of the organisers of the festival, said they were impressed with the turnout.
“For a start, we are satisfied with the audience. It’s always difficult for a new festival to attract people but, for us, it has been the opposite. Again, people went home satisfied because they were treated to mature performances,” Kalizang’oma said.
The ‘Unkalindanji Moyo’ star maintained that they would be holding the festival every July.
However, Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) also hosts the Land of Poets in the same month although the festival did not take place this year.
He also ruled out bad blood between them and Pam.
“There is no bad blood between us. We just thought of creating another platform so as to reach out to more poets and artists,” Kalizang’oma said.

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