Mzuzu University (Mzuni) Chancellor President Peter Mutharika on Friday awarded a doctorate in creative arts to poet Qabaniso Malewezi for his outstanding contributions in the arts sector.
Malewezi, aka Q Malewezi, was one of the 832 graduates in various fields of study.
Speaking in an interview after the award, Q Malewezi said the award by a local university is in the right direction in the development of the arts for the socio-development of the country.
“Receiving the award was a surprise [to me] because usually artists are awarded mainly by arts associated bodies. Mzuni has exemplified its progressiveness in this respect.
“I feel that the award is beyond me. It represents the potential of the creative sector to further contribute to national development. I hope other institutions will follow suite and realise the great potential of our young artists and support them via direct investment into the sector,” he said.
This is the first time that Mzuni has honoured an individual in the arts sector.
Previously, the institution has been honouring politicians or individuals who are politically connected.
Some of the past awardees include former Aford president the late Chakufwa Chihana, former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika and former first lady Patricia Shanil Muluzi.
This tendency compelled The Nation last month to do a story No Art Honours, which analysed how local universities shun artists for politicians in doctorate awards. The story delved into the importance of honouring artists in the creative sector.
Mzuni vice-chancellor Robert Ridley was quoted as having said the institution was in the process of establishing a committee to look into such issues.