The Tikonzekere Arts Contest, which is aimed at raising awareness on disasters such as floods through arts, has hit the semi-final, which is set to be held this weekend at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre.
One of the members of the organising team, Paul Sezzie, who is also one of the judges in the poetry category, said yesterday that the semi-final would be held on August 17 and 18 2019.
“We are working with JCC to hold the semi-finals this weekend. We will have two categories on August 17, which is poetry and storytelling, where those selected at the semi-final stage will showcase works and the best three will be selected. These top three would then compete in the final to take place in October to find number one, two and three,” Sezzie said.
He said, on August 18, they would have semi-finals for drawing and short story categories, among others.
“Judges will be available during the events over the weekend to work on the positions. However, having announced six categories, we will not have photography because we have put it on hold as we are still looking at the situation. We only received one entry which did not pass the test so we are talking to stakeholders and sponsors on the next course of direction. We are looking at options and, once everything is settled, we will communicate. We might reopen it for entries,” Sezzie said.
The contest’s co-director, Bob Alexander, also known as Barefoot Bob in the music circles, said Tikonzekere Arts Contest was a tool created this year and uses arts disciplines such as photography, poetry, storytelling, song writing, short video creation and drawing.
“We have many different ways of approaching issues to bring about change and art stands out as one of the ways. We want to inspire people with the contest to talk about issues and take action that will help them and their families to have less negative consequences during future heavy rains and floods,” Barefoot Bob said.
The final of the contest will be held during the Blantyre Arts Festival from October 4 to 6 2019 at Blantyre Cultural Centre.
The winners in each category are expected to share K300,000 distributed as follows: K150,000 first position with K100,000 and K50,000 for second and third positions.
The other partners for the contest are the government through the Department of Disaster Management, United Nations Development Programme, Music Crossroads, Baf, Story Ink Africa, Kwa Haraba, Vilipanganga, SDI, Society of Education Initiative, Malawi Red Cross Society and Rural Livelihood Risk Management Consulting.