The creative industry in the country particularly that of theatre has all the reasons to smile following the coming in of the K5 million Superior Drama competition.
The competition spearheaded by Superior Events Management (SEM) through Superior Films in partnership with National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) will be launched on June 26 at Blantyre Cultural Centre.
Speaking during a press briefing at Chichiri Museum in Blantyre yesterday, Superior Events Management Director Japhet Majekete said the company has been driven to support theatre because of passion.
“I have been in theatre and I have been acting for a long time only that I didn’t manage to hit the top. So this is all passion and having noticed that drama has gone down in the country we thought of lifting it,” Majekete said.
He said drama is very important in that it, among other things entertains and that it is used as a vehicle for disseminating different messages.
“People know Superior Events Management as a company that is involved in a lot of things including holding boxing tournaments but, through our sister company Superior Films, we want to revamp theatre,” Majekete said.
While different organisations have come out to announce with pomp events in the creative industry only for them to die a natural death, Majekete maintained this was a serious project that will be running every year.
“For those who know us, we work hard in everything we do. For your information we are doing this not for business because our profits will be generated through Superior Films and this is just the beginning,” he said.
Majekete revealed that Superior Films will be coming up with different movies and that they have already made headway with two movies Footsteps of the First Lady and The Reporter.
“We will be spending K5 million on prizes and other logistics for the competition. At the moment we have already spent close to K2.5 million sensitising drama groups countrywide on the competition,” he said.
Majekete also announced that the competition will decorate the media with K100,000 each for Print, TV and Radio.
Former Ntam president Ian Chitsekula, who is part of Superior Events Management, said the winner in the competition will walk away with K1.5 million with second and third position pocketing K750,000 and K500,000 respectively.
“We are starting the competition the first week of July. Superior Events Management has been organising different events including boxing so this competition will continue. This is one way of revamping theatre but also youths will have something to do,” Chitsekula said.
He said the competition has rules and regulations which will not be broken and that drama groups are required to perform 30 to 35 minute English or Chichewa plays.
“The competition will start at district level then we will have regional finals where the best will be selected for the national final slated for Lilongwe. For national [final] we have three each from the South and Central and two each from the North and Eastern region,” he explained.
He also said that they will be transparent in their operations and that they will pick experienced judges.
Chitsekula said the launch on June 26 will be headlined by Kwathu Drama group and that there will also be performances from Solomonic Peacocks, Upile Drama Group and comedians Che Muthinda and Mologeni and Chopwicho.
The Best Actor and Actress will also get themselves a ticket to South Africa for shopping.
Ntam President Eric Mabedi, alias Jakobo, said the competition has come at the right time.
“There has not been any competition on the ground in the country. Actors and actresses have to be motivated and this competition will help to do that,” Mabedi said.
He hailed Superior Events Management for coming out to support them.
“We actually have to do well to nurture this and attract more companies out there. As Ntam we are working hard and my administration does not want to beg but to find ways of survival,” said the Ntam leader.