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We are grounded, says Eric Mabedi

Kwathu Drama Group during their previous performance

Kwathu Drama Group Director, Eric Mabedi, said Tuesday that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected them greatly.

The virus—which does not have a cure to date—has infected over three million people out of which 212,000 have died while close to a million others have recovered.

As its impact began being felt in Malawi, Kwathu postponed its Easter holiday performances in compliance with a ban on public gatherings.

Mabedi, popularly known as Jakobo, said the vernacular drama group will return to the stage after the situation normalises.

“We cannot do anything for now. We are really affected. It is not only Kwathu but the theatre industry in general and the whole creative industry. We have nowhere to run to at the moment,” he said.

The veteran actor and playwright said they had invested a lot in a play which they were set to stage on Easter.

“At the moment, we are blank on what to do. All we can do is pray that God helps us and take away this disease. As artists we rely on performances to make ends meet and in the absence of performances it means life is hard for us,” he said.

Kwathu Drama Group was expected to hold their play titled Ana a Kumpanda which they failed to premiere last year.

In a related development, National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) is yet to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) to elect new office bearers following the expiry of the term of current officers.

Ntam was expected to hold the AGM last year but failed to do so due to funding challenges.

Several arts associations in the country are struggling and a number of them have failed to hold their AGMs due to inadequate funding.

In the absence of the Arts Council, which artists continue to lobby for, their associations cannot get subvention from the government.

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