Tikonzekere Arts competition whose grand finale took place on Sunday at Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) in Thyolo District will be back next year.
One of the partners of the contest, Menard Nyirenda, who is also the Executive Director of Sustainable Development Initiative (SDI), said this year, the theme was on floods and that next year they will also concentrate on another theme.
“We will choose a different theme and will look into other disasters, we are happy that Department of Disaster Management Affairs and UNDP are equally interested in scaling up the event. Malawi is not just affected by floods but we have, for instance, fire and drought,” Nyirenda said.
He said art is key in disseminating different messages hence utilising it fully in the competition.
Nyirenda, however, said next year they were targeting more participation from rural areas having had more participation from urban areas this year.
“We are looking at the possibility of starting from district level before going national. As I indicated earlier, we have different players, who have been impressed by this year’s event and would like to be part and parcel [of next year’s],” he said.
Nyirenda added: “We have, for instance, Red Cross which is interested since we work with a number of organisations and other non-governmental organisation (NGOs).”
He also said that the different messages from the finalists in the categories of music, visual arts, storytelling, short film and poetry will be uploaded in various platforms so that the materials are used and accessed.
Contest publicist, Paul Sezzie, said having the contests annually would be good for the country since they want to keep engaging conversations on vulnerability reduction best practices on.
“We will engage with various partners and solicit ideas on how best and what direction the contests can take,” Sezzie said.
With the country prone to multiple hazards in both rural and urban areas which include floods, heavy storms, drought and dry spells, organisers of the contest, said there was need to put other strategies to avoid losses of life and goods.
Some of the winners in the contest include Heath Kathewera (visual arts), Fungai Mutsinze (music) Halspeck Sauti (short videos) and Magdalenia Nankhonyo (poetry).