National Schools Youth Arts Festival (Nasfest), now known as Nasfest International Youth Arts Festival driven by Light of Youth Creative Organisation (Lyco), took place on Friday and Saturday at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe with performances, workshops and awards taking centre stage.
The 2020 festival which also attracted acts from Zambia and Zimbabwe as part of regional integration has won the hearts of players in the creative industry.
Dzuwa Arts Director, Ignacious Kaphinde, who attended the festival which opened with workshops on Friday, said it was a well organised event.
“The activities, organisation and performances were great. I really enjoyed every moment. The competition was tough, of course there are some areas of improvement, for instance, some of the schools lacked creativity, the use of flashbacks in a play for example was too much,” Kaphinde said.
Filmmaker and actress, Joyce Mhango Chavula, said Nasfest keeps on getting better every year.
“2020 was a great improvement compared to last year judging by the performances and organisation and the international acts just made the festival even more colourful. On the part of school plays, there is room for improvement. Nasfest has to work closely with the schools to help them come out with good productions,” Mhango Chavula said.
She added that while some schools performed exceptionally well, some were below par and that this being an international festival, there was need to have good performances.
“We need to honour our talent and I applaud Lyco for doing this. This is part of motivating them to do more,” Mhango Chavula said.
Lyco Executive Director, James Kitchen, hailed people for the support and that they were happy to have delivered once again despite facing inadequate funding.
“The turnout was better than last year. We had a number of challenges like most artists did not submit short films hence we had few films. Some schools and artists did not show up due to funding,” Kitchen said.
He also said that they were happy to have recognized and awarded young people, schools and Zimbabwean artist Chidochemoyo Musasiwa- Gutu.
According to Kitchen, Zomba Catholic was the overall school with Devine Mercy and Darlo Girls on second and third, respectively.
In the Nasfest Young Theatre Makers Awards, those, who went away with the awards included Fumbani Phiri (Best Playwright), Sometimes in July ( Best Overall Production), YDC Theatre ( Best Theatre Group), Pleasant Banda ( Best Director), Roselyn Dzanja (Best Actress) and Jack Msumba ( Best Actor).
Some of the Young Achievers, who went away with awards on the day included Constance Thyangathyanga, who is Jacaranda Cultural Centre Deputy Director, Valentino Moloseni ( Scar of Life Films), Mirriam Phiri, Kaphinde, Aaron Chambo, Beatus Msamange, Kwanjani Kanyanda, Nya Uyu and Brenda Mselu.