The National Schools Arts Festival (Nasfest) organised by the Light of Youth organisation will wear a new face this year.
The organisation’s Executive Director James Kitchen said on Tuesday that they were targeting more youth participation hence rebranding.
“This year we are looking at a broader picture. We are rebranding bringing in a youth cultural festival which will be running for three days. We will be starting on Friday through to Sunday having theatre performances, poetry sessions, traditional dances and movie screenings,” Kitchen said.
He said they observed that there was no festival on the ground targeting youths stressing that they will be starting the whole programme in schools.
“We will be having schools competitions on a regional level where schools will be given prizes and then the three best schools will be given top prizes at national level,” Kitchen said.
He said the theme for this year is Youth in action to eliminate harmful cultural practices.
“We are trying to give culture the limelight and again through this theme we want all plays to tackle cultural issues. We want plays that will depict Malawi culture, what we do, the challenges we face, solutions and the success stories,” Kitchen said.
He further said that this year they would want schools to change and be creative in their productions.
“We do not want the usual plays; we want productions with something new and local. Plays that are entertaining, educative and informative,” Kitchen said.
He also said that their rebranding also involves prizes.
“We have had difficulties with cash prizes where schools tend not to benefit. So we are looking at sourcing materials to build resource centres in schools for students to use not for a short period but a long time,” Kitchen said.
He observed that schools invest alot during such competitions hence would want them to benefit.
Meanwhile, Kitchen has said this year’s regional events will start on October 28 through to 29 in the Eastern and Southern region, November 5 and 6 in the Central region and November 11 in the Northern region.
He said the national event will be held in the first week of February.
Last year’s winner was Sos Secondary School from Lilongwe.
Kitchen also indicated that they have received funding from Hivos and have since been conduction trainings for schools as part of improving productions.
“We have already been to the Southern region and now on June 3 we will be in the Central Region. The training will be held at Lilongwe Girls Secondary School and we are targeting 45 participants and that is 15 teachers and 30 students. And from the 30 students, it is two students from each school,” he said.
From the Central region they will move to the Northern region.
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