National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) President Maxwell Chiphinga, popularly known as Max DC, said on Sunday they were impressed by performances displayed by drama groups during its Southern Region chapter two-day festival held at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.
The Ntam leader, who also performed with his Emancipation Theatrical Ensemble on Sunday serving a romantic piece, said the chapter did not compromise on the festival and that drama groups brought quality productions.
“We want theatre to reclaim its glory and we can only do that through these platforms. Of course, the audiences were not that huge during the two days but the plays that the groups offered were good and the same applies to traditional dances,” Max DC said.
He said the impressive plays were a testimony that the groups were ready for the international festival coming up on December 1 to 4 2022.
“The international festival will feature local and international acts. We have finalised the line-up and we should be announcing everything to the public during a press briefing we will hold soon. But we needed the chapter festivals, we have enjoyed the South chapter festival and now look forward to Northern and Central region chapters festivals,” the Ntam leader said.
The first day saw performances from Tauka Arts, Pamodzi Travelling Theatre, Young Travellers, Logos Theatre and Judges Dance Troupe.
The second day brought acts such as Ng’oma Arts, YDC Theatre, Dikamawoko Arts, Emancipation Theatrical Ensemble and Upile Drama Group.
Dikamawoko Arts once again exposed the beauty of the country’s traditional dances and culture when it showcased dances such as Vimbuza, a healing dance performed in the Northern Region, and Chisamba from the Central Region.
Upile Drama Group also delivered a powerful production titled Zingatiwonekele which was written by Ben Maluwasa.
One of the members of the organising committee Precious Denja said they worked tirelessly to give theatre lovers a good festival despite not having enough in their coffers.
“We reached out to the corporate world for support but did not get any. The funds used mostly came from members’ pockets and we are thankful to players like JCC, who gave us the venue for almost free,” Denja, who stars for Tauka Arts, said.