Malawian filmmaker Joyce Mhango-Chavula has earned recognition alongside eight other individuals as an outstanding woman in the film industry in the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc).
The Nyasaland film creator has been named alongside Zambia’s film director and producer Jessie Chisi, director Rungano Nyoni, actress and director Nancy Handabile and South African Yolisa Phahle, who is Multichoice Africa chief executive officer (for entertainment).
The list also has Zimbabwean actors, Danai Gurira and Mbo Mahocs, Namibian writer and film director Oshosheni Hiveluah and film director Tumi Sejoe from Botswana.
“There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure an inclusive and equal on-screen community, especially for women in Southern Africa. These can be done through dialogue and efforts such as Multichoice Talent Factory (MTF),” reads a statement from Multichoice Africa.
Multichoice Malawi public relations manager Khaira Surtee said the idea was to celebrate the women in film from each market in line with the achievements they have made.
She said it is the objective of Multichoice to encourage Malawian actresses to actively participate in the creative industry and fuel their passion using platforms such as Zambezi Magic and the MTF.
Surtee in an interview said: “There is a gap in the film industry in terms of women participation with few females interested in the field. The skill and talent is there, but still the parameters the two sexes are working at are apart.”
Filmmakers Association of Malawi (Fama) president Eziaus Mkandawire said there is need to conduct trainings with women in the industry to facilitate a shift in mentality which only regards women as second best in the set-up.
“It is a cultural and gender problem which has seen women relegated to the sidelines in most productive sectors of our economy,” he said.
On her part Mhango-Chavula said she was honoured to receive such kind of recognition.
“I guess many women have the fear of unknown to take up such challenges. But it is my hope that this will change in time. There are more opportunities now unlike previously,” she said.
Mhango-Chavula’s latest movie Nyasaland has earned several feats which include being shown at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival in the United States of America (USA) and a nomination for best movie from Southern Africa, among others. n