Filmmakers, dramatists and the media have been asked to reproduce the recently released book, Malawi’s Lost Years, into film, drama and radio programmes if its contents are to reach a wider audience.
Malawi’s “forsaken and forgotten” heroes, who have been featured in the book, made the plea at the book’s final launch in Karonga on Thursday.
Making his presentation on the evils of party cards during the one-party state era, Harrison Simfukwe said, with the dying reading culture, only a few people may read the book.
He said if the book, authored by Kapote Mwakasungura and Douglas Miller, is to achieve its intended purpose then more players should come in to disseminate the contents of the book through other mediums in reaching out to a wider audience.
“My suggestion is that the writers should engage the media to do interviews with those who testified in the book for radio or television programmes.
“Filmmakers and dramatists can also come in to redo the book in form of films or drama. That way, contents of the book will have a wider reach unlike now when the reading culture has gone down,” said the 55-year-old Simfukwe.
Miller, who, together with his family, fled Malawi into exile during the Kamuzu Banda regime, agreed with the suggestion.
“Our generation is print oriented. But the present generation is much more attached to the electronic equipment. So, we are looking for help from the younger generation to get the message together to do something that can appeal to the youths.
“This can be in form of movies, television series and theatre as the stories are perfect for that,” said Miller, originally from Ottawa, but who taught in Malawi from 1968 to 1972 and married a Malawian.
Despite the appeal for help, Miller said more artists, who he could not disclose, have already expressed interest to reproduce the book into film, theatre and television series.
“During our launches in Lilongwe, Blantyre and Mzuzu, the response has been very enthusiastic. We have had a theatre person, filmmaker and Zodiak Radio come forward for permission to reproduce the book. People are keen to get these stories,” he said.
He said plans are also underway to archive, electronically, interviews with the unsung heroes for future referencing by historians, scholars and interested individuals.