Youths, who are mostly sidelined in many development activities, and yet have the potential, are the ones driving the rebranded Zimachitika radio play, which is now known as Zimachitika Next Generation.
Story Workshop Educational Trust (Swet) recently came out to announce that it was re-introducing Zimachitika, which has been entertaining the masses for over 20 years.
With funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy through Cultural Fund Malawi driven by Hivos, Zimachitika has been temporary rebranded to cover issues to do with youth empowerment in governance and political structures and enhancing their freedom of expression.
This has seen the youth take up a major role in Zimachitika Next Generation in, among other things, script writing.
Lead apprentice, Pemphero Kuzamani, said on Friday that Zimachitika Next Generation is a youth-led programme that wants to put the youth in the limelight but also give them a chance to participate in the development of the country.
“This is a project by Story Workshop in conjunction with Hivos, who decided to hire young people to take up various roles in Zimachitika Next Generation. It’s been a good platform since we, as young people, are able to do things on our own,” Kuzamani said.
She said the project has two script writers, two producers and two studio engineers, among others.
“I am the lead apprentice and we also have script writers, who are being mentored by the experienced script writers,” she said.
Kuzamani said Zimachitika Next Generation is focusing on young people, showing them how they can participate in development activities such as politics.
“We are currently on Episode seven, having started airing in January. Since we started, we are happy with the feedback we have received. As youths, we are able to tackle issues that young people face,” Kuzamani said.
She further said she was honoured to be part of the young people who are working on the play.
“Young people are important when it comes to the future of Malawi; young people have the potential and, as such, their knowledge should be used. I encourage young people to be doers and not just listeners,” the lead apprentice said.
One of the script writers, Fumbani Phiri, said, when he was join the project, he had little knowledge of script writing for radio.
“Now I can develop scripts for radio plays and this is because we have been mentored by veterans. We are focusing much on youth in democracy in our stories and, all in all, we are trying to bring in elements of youth participation,” Phiri said.
The old version of Zimachitika has been building the capacity of the audience on such issues as environmental sustainability, nutrition, health, gender equality, good governance and women empowerment.
The radio drama, which was one of the most followed in Malawi, went off air for about two years due to lack of funds.
Story Workshop has since said it is happy to bring back Zimachitika Next Generation.
The radio drama airs on Zodiak Broadcasting Station every Saturday from 8:30pm.
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