The Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) has lined up a number of arts activities to complement the bright purple colour from jacaranda trees that dominates the streets of Blantyre during this time of the year.
In summer, jacaranda becomes the predominant colour, and the JCC is set to brighten the mood even further with theatre and story-telling events.
Jacaranda Foundation executive director Luc Deschamps said the French storytelling competition will involve students from Domasi College of Education, Mzuzu University and University of Malawi, formerly Chancellor College.
“The contest will be at two levels. The first will be within each institution to be followed by a national final involving all three establishments on November 6 at Domasi, bringing together three finalists from each body,” said Deschamps.
Cash prizes await the winners from the institutions’ French departments who will write and tell the stories with no reference to any notes, and the stories will be judged by a panel of judges.
The theme for the contest is apt as it comes in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic: La Crise Sanitaire (The Health Crisis).
Added the French honorary consul: “The judges will look for adherence to theme, story plot, meaning and significance, presentation and language skills, among others. The theme was chosen by French lecturers and students given the times we are going through.”
JCC will also bring the Francophone Theatre to Mandala where two plays by French playwrights will be adapted and performed by actors and actresses from six different ensembles: Umunthu, YDC, Young Travellers, Scar of Life, Solomonic Peacock and Dikamawoko Arts.
The centre will see in performance God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza and The Chairs by Eugene Ionesco on October 29 and 30, respectively.
“Apart from promoting the French language and francophone cultures, the initiative will promote Malawian drama groups as it will give a chance to actors and directors from different troupes to interact through the workshops organised during the adaptation of the two French plays.
“When these actors go back to their troupes, they will share the skills gained during this project,” said Deschamps.
Meanwhile, director of French Studies at JCC and Maison de la France, Poya Chapweteka says the French Embassy has enhanced the training of French teachers in Malawi.
For the past months, he said, several teachers have been attending trainings in the teaching of French online and many more teachers will travel to France at the end of the year and mid-2022.
“In addition, three French teachers and two other French experts are travelling to Besançon, France in October to meet on the launch of a project aimed at initial training of French teachers. The lessons started on Monday,” he said.