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Stella Maris defends French Schools Drama championship

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Stella Maris on Saturday proved their masterly in the French Schools Drama competition when they defended the championship after outclassing seven other schools during the grand finale held at Jacaranda in Blantyre.

The school showed its strong intent of defending the championship in the 29th edition of the competition when it also came first during the regional finals.

But despite coming first during the regional finals, its French teacher William Chindebvu had indicated they were not satisfied with their display and they would go back to the drawing board and polish their production.

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The Blantyre-based girls secondary school refined their play in the final which saw them come top impressing a five-member judging panel.

The judging panel included retired referee and French teacher Bester Kalombo, Solomonic Peacocks Director McArthur Matukuta, French lecturer Prince Chimasula and Mwandipa Chimaliro.

As winners, Stella Maris which won with their play La Fin De Larmes received a trophy, books, bags and T-shirts sponsored by the French company, Total, and medals.

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The Stella Maris students danced on stage for their win while others chanted the name of actor and mimicker Frank Naligonje who directed the production.

“We were confident but we never saw it coming. As a school we are excited to have defended the championship having also won it last year. It was not easy because being the grand finale all the schools were prepared,” Chindebvu said.

The students from all the eight schools showed great skills and creativity during the competition which run under the theme Qui se’me le vent re’colte la tempet (You reap what you sow).

There is room for improvement on the productions which has adopted the freezing concept which is now being overused but the schools were exceptional on the costume in their productions.

Likuni Boys from Lilongwe made sure the Central Region was not left out on the success ladder when they came second with their play Comme On Fait Son Lit, On Se Couche.

They received a trophy, bags, books and medals among others.

The Northern Region, which was the only one with two representatives compared to the other regions which had three each, also had something to smile on as Phwezi Girls, which performed last on the day, came third with their play Les Dossiers Voles.

Jacaranda failed to use its host advantage when they came fifth forcing some of its students to cry on stage in disbelief.

However, they did not lose out completely as one of them, Franklin Rashid, stole the limelight winning the Best French Speaker (Male) and he received a bicycle, book and medal among other prizes.

This was not all as Rashid went on to claim the Best Supporting Actor with Response Kamanga from Providence claiming the Best Supporting Actress.

The Best French Speaker (Female) went to Thokozire Banda from Phwezi Girls who also went away with a medal and bicycle among others.

The Best Actor was Sunday Mchemela from Dedza Secondary while the Best Actress was Bongani Banda from Stella Maris.

The two received medals and a bicycle each.

The second best French speaker (male) and second best French speaker (female) went to a student from Likuni Boys and Nomsa Nungu from Marymount respectively.

Dedza Secondary School, which won the competition in 2014, was drafted into the competition at the eleventh hour having impressed despite coming third during the regional contest.

Total Malawi Commercial Manager Mc Chancy Mkamanga, who was the guest of honour, said he was excited and impressed with the performances of all the finalists.

“All schools had fantastic plays and it was tough and competitive. We will look into improving the competition and pump in more sponsorship,” Mkamanga said.

He described the French language as good and that as Total they believe in speaking multiple languages adding that they have a young graduate programme where they send the youth to go and work in other countries.

French Honorary Consul to Malawi Luc Deschamps said every year the level of the competition is rising and that it was amazing once again this year.

“Students are speaking good French. Speaking French is a huge asset. The plays were impressive and told different stories and tackled several important issues,” Deschamps said.

He then hailed Total Malawi for the support and called on schools to participate in the competition and that the prizes would improve in 2017.

The competition is spearheaded by Jacaranda Foundation and the French Embassy in Malawi in collaboration with Association of French Teachers in Malawi.

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