Nyungwe Girls Catholic Secondary School are this year’s National Schools Arts Festival (Nasfest) champions organised by Light of Youth Creative Organisation (Lyco).
The drama festival which only managed to bring six schools was held at the once mighty Lilongwe Town Hall.
Nyungwe Girls won the hearts of the judges Joyce Mhango Chavula, Lewis Masamba and Chancy Mauluka with their play The Red Knight November.
As winners they went away with a wooden trophy and K150,000 courtesy of Arts House which is owned by visual artist Elson Kambalu.
The school’s patron Edmond Milopo said they were happy to have come out champions this year.
“It’s been a long journey but we worked very hard starting in the regional finals. It was a tough battle because all the schools put up splendid performances but we thank God we made it and we will now work hard to defend it next year,” said Milopo.
On second position was Nyambadwe Private with their play Turning Point while on third was New Glyn Jones with their production Lodebah.
The two received K100,000 and K80,000 respectively.
The Best English Speaker (Male) was Boniface Mbatata from Chipasula Secondary School with Faith Dzikambani as the Best English Speaker (Female).
The Best Actress was Shupikire Hara while the Best Actor was James Phiri.
All the individual words received K2,000 each.
The Best Script went to Nyungwe Girls while the Best Directed Play accolade went to New Glyn Jones which also won the Captivating Scene category.
Some schools especially those from the Central region were not satisfied with the results at the end of the competition.
But Lyco Executive Director James Kitchen said there will always be protests in a competition.
“We are happy with the way things went about and we say congratulations to the winners. As Lyco we do not have funding we normally use our own resources but we would like to thank Mr Elson Kambalu for the support,” said Kitchen.
He noted that theatre competitions which unearth talent are not supported and called on other well wishers to emulate what Kambalu is doing.
“There was an improvement on productions but schools did not keep time, most of them came late and this delayed the programme but next year we will not tolerate it,” said Kitchen.
Kambalu said he saw a lot of talent hence sponsoring the contest.
“There is talent in the country and so as an artist myself I thought I should play my part. And I am happy with what was on display today and I say congratulations to the winners,” he said.
There was no sanity though between the organisers of Nasfest and Association of Teaching of English in Malawi (Atem) who are all helping uplift theatre as their activities were held on the same day.
The other schools did not make it for the battle. The other schools that participated were Dzenza Mission, Chifuniro Private and Chipasula.