Stella Maris triumphs in French Drama contest
After being embarrassed last year at their own backyard where Dedza Secondary School came out victors, Stella Maris Girls Secondary School finally put things right when they were crowned the 2015 French Drama Schools competition champions on Saturday.
And to cap it all, they won it away from home at Jacaranda School for Orphans in Limbe, Blantyre, outclassing seven other secondary schools.
It was a fierce battle which started in the morning through to late afternoon as eight schools namely Phwezi Girls and Marymount from the Northern Region, Dedza and Likuni Boys from the Central Region, Jacaranda and Stella Maris from the Southern Region and Police and Malosa from the Eastern Region showcased their French productions.
Soon after the Chief Judge announced that Stella Maris were the winners, the school walked to the front in disbelief while some students shed tears of joy.
Stella Maris won with their play titled Laissez-moi partir (Let Me Go) which was written by Frank Naligonje but translated by the teachers led by Louis Zulu.
“We worked very hard, last year we were disappointed but this year we worked as a team and polished all away mistakes we did last year,” said Zulu.
As winners, the school received a trophy and other items and its French teacher will travel to a French festival in Zimbabwe next year.
Marymount Girls Secondary was second while Police Secondary School, whose students cried for failing to come first, came third.
Dedza Secondary School failed to defend the crown while Jacaranda Secondary which came first in the regional finals in the Southern Region, failed to utilise home ground advantage when they came fourth.
Despite failing to notch the first position, Police Secondary School still did itself proud when it also produced the Best French Speaker (Male) in Vitumbiko Gondwe while Marymount produced Best French Speaker (Female) in Mwayi Mkandawire.
The two received brand new bikes and medals.
Gerald Ngoma from Jacaranda School was voted the Best Actor while Stella Maris strengthened its top position by producing Best Actress Mwayi Sekani. The two also received brand new bikes.
Jacaranda School for Orphans’ Franklin Rashid was the Best Runner Up in the French Speaker (Male) while Wongani Banda from Stella Maris was the Best Runner Up French Speaker (Female).
The two received medals plus French games.
Zayithwa Chimbetete from Malosa Secondary was the Best Supporting Actor with Thokozire Banda from Phwezi Girls as the Best Supporting Actress and they received medals plus French games.
The 28th Edition was held under the theme L’argent ne fait pas le Bonheur (Money does not buy happiness).
The competition organised by French Embassy to Malawi and Jacaranda Foundation also saw every student who participated receiving books and a school bag.
French Consul in Malawi Luc Deschamps said he was impressed with the grand final saying the students produced the best.
“I am impressed; we had eight best schools during the final. The level of the competition has risen and students are speaking better French. We saw everything this afternoon from creativity to great plays,” said Deschamps.
Guest of honour Timwa Lipenga, who is the Head of French Department at University of Malawi – Chancellor College said the grand finale was well patronised.
“I am happy to see different interpretations on the theme and we saw good plays weaving on different stories,” she said.
Lipenga said there was need to preserve the plays by putting them into an anthology for among others future references.
“We need to preserve these plays which can be used for research purposes in future as well as look at the themes explored.
“To have such books will also help to encourage children to read French as there are few French books written by Malawians. This will also help telling the stories of Malawi,” said Lipenga.
The competition was also spiced up by other performances from among others musician Agorosso
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