Moved by Malawi’s poor showing on the global poverty index, actor Kelvin Ngoma has released a feature film exploring challenges surrounding the poor in the country.
Titled Khanda, the movie, narrates how poverty affects people’s decisions and their way of life.
It also highlights how poverty complicates human survival in Malawi and Africa.
“In Malawi and Africa as as whole, decision-making is mostly based on the status of a person. And that is what Khanda, meaning infant, talks about,” said Ngoma in an interview.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with 50.7 percent of the population living below the poverty line and 25 percent living in extreme poverty.
He said: “This is what a poor family in the film is going through. They are struggling to sustain themselves, but they also lack one thing that completes life; a child.
“But a child is an expensive gift no wonder the family, especially the wife feels incomplete. How will they feed, shelter, clothe and educate the child? Where will all that come from?”
Shot in Lilongwe rural, the five-minute film recently premiered online via YouTube and Facebook.
“We won’t do a physical launch due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, I am planning on sending the film to different short film festivals and to all local television stations,” he said.
This is the second film Ngoma, who was among the local cast for Malawi’s Hollywood-produced true story-based blockbuster The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, is producing after Romeo, his 2015 production.
“I am still an actor, but I like writing; hence, producing will be one of the things I will be doing now,” he added.
In his analysis of the movie, celebrated filmmaker, Charles Shemu Joyah faulted the film for indirectly augmenting gender-based violence.
“I love the acting. But why is the man blaming the woman for getting pregnant? Was she having sex alone? Instead, I would have loved to see the male character live up to his responsibility by being compassionate instead of becoming the centre of the problem,” he said.