MultiChoice Malawi on Wednesday turned Sunbird Mount Soche into a proper village, to welcome the launch of Zambezi Magic, a channel that will show movies and series produced in southern Africa
On entry into Njamba Room patrons were greeted with paintings of village scenes, mipanda yatsekera and wood decorations.
The patrons, who were mostly in traditional attire, sat on reed mats and low benches.
When it came to food and drink, they had a rare menu: chimanga chokazinga, mpunga woviika, kanyenya, zitumbuwa, chipere, mikate, nyama ya kalulu, masau, thobwa and malambe juice.
There was no jazz, but music emanating from a street artist.
The jokes from Lilongwe-based thespian Dee Satha kept the patrons laughing as they witnessed the coming of a channel aimed at showcasing movies produced from southern Africa.
And from the full-moon lit night, better news broke out: About 20 Malawian movies may find their way on Channel 160, according to MultiChoice marketing manager Chimwemwe Nyirenda.
“This is a good development for Malawian movies, since they will go through a screening and we hope some of them will be beamed on the channel,” said Nyirenda.
On why the name Zambezi, Nyirenda said it was a consensus that the river brought a thread connecting many countries in the region.
And film directors who were present during the launch lauded the new channel.
The country’s top movie-maker Shemu Joyah applauded Multichoice for creating a platform where Malawians showcase their talents.
“It’s been a long time coming. Movie makers have faced hurdles to get funding because people only give funds to people whom they know and have seen their work. With a platform like this, Malawi will get international recognition,” he said.
His thoughts were share by another director, Tiwonge Nkhonjera, who said: “The new channel is a challenge for us to do more. We have to produce quality films since the platform is here.”
Among others, the channel will beam soapies such as Generations, Muvhango, Isindigo, Zone 14 and Jacob’s Cross as well as lifestyle programmes, documentaries, movies and music.