Drama enthusiasts in Malawi have every reason to rejoice in the birth of a new group, especially when the newborn promises sanity in the once vibrant industry.
At a time more theatre outfits are closing shop, Nanzikambe Arts Cafe in Malawiâ€™s commercial city Blantyre will play host to the launch of Mangolongondo Arts Ensemble on Saturday afternoon.
According to founder Steve Kango, Mangolongondoâ€”a Tumbuka term for xylophoneâ€”will launch their theatrical journey with the play St Babton Scandal which fuses experienced actors and upstarts.
Kango said the cast includes Nanzikambe Artsâ€™ elite actors Henry Ntalika, Mphundu Mjumira and Hussein Gopole who featured in adaptations of Ngugiwa Thiongâ€™oâ€™s I Will Marry When I Want and Jack Mapanjeâ€™s And Crocodiles Are Hungry at Night.
And Kango himself is a drama trainer. He mentored seven graduates of Marymount Girls Secondary School who feature in St Bapton Scandal. After a decade off-stage, he seems determined to venture into acting.
Â â€œI have come back full-fledged to boost the countryâ€™s drama industry just like it was in the days of the late Du Chisiza,â€ said Kango on Monday.
A letter, signed by Censorship Board officer Daston Mpando, gives St Bapton Scandal a universal gradeâ€”meaning it is fit for all age groups.
Kango also said they will release Do as I Do between January and March next year.