The country’s theatre industry has elected playwright and actor Eric Mabedi and Mulanje South member of Parliament (MP) Bon Kalindo (Democratic Progressive Party-DPP) into a team to run the National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam) for the next three years.
Mabedi, popularly known by his stage name Jakobo, was elected president while Kalindo, popularly known as Winiko, was elected publicity secretary during the association’s annual general meeting (AGM) held in Liwonde on Saturday.
Mabedi takes over from Manase Chisiza who resigned from the post after relocating to Germany.
Continental award-winning film maker Joyce Mhango Chavula, who had been acting as president after Chisiza’s resignation, did not contest.
The actors and actresses also elected James Gondwe as vice-president and Isaac Banda as secretary general.
Beauty Fologonya was voted Winiko’s deputy while the position of treasurer went to Chancy Mauluka.
In his acceptance speech, Mabedi said he takes the responsibility as a challenge and encouraged Ntam membership to strive to produce content for an international audience.
“We need to consider our positions as artists. We are now living in a global village. So, let us do our best to produce quality products that can sell globally. The audience is waiting for our products out there,” he said.
Mabedi, who is director of Kwathu Drama Group, also appealed to the association membership to consider helping in other areas such as fighting climate change.
He said he hoped the face of theatre in the country will take a new shape with the inclusion of Winiko in the committee, saying the legislator should ably present the artists’ concerns to the National Assembly.
Veteran actor Frank Patani Mwase, who was returning officer during the polls, called for harmony among artists in the country. n