They say opportunity should act as a stepping stone and, so is the story that anchors the founding of a radio play, 24/7, which airs on Matindi FM radio every Saturday.
In 2012, Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) gave Bashir Kazembe and others an opportunity to participate in Theatre of the Air, an English radio play on MBC Radio 2. No one could predict the future of the actors as many of the former are out of acting. But a year participating in the play was enough for Kazembe to start off on a road to theatre.
He did not accept to lie idle at home after MBC stopped recording new plays but went on to form Ndizotheka Arts.
With the support of MirriamPondani, Bridget Mang’umbi and AlinafeNyemba, some of the key actors in Theatre of the Air, Kazembe was optimistic that talent in the group can found something that can be treasured.
He ropped in six others, including Mike Njunga, YankhoMalabwanya, Clement Gomani, Isabel Kumpukwe and Theodora Maliwa. The arts group has produced three stage plays with which they have toured districts in the Southern Region.
The plays are Identical Sins, Taste of My Pill and Father’s Diary.
Confidence built through these is what founded 24/7. Listening to the play, which airs at 8pm on Saturdays, it is evident that the actors are on the road to something bigger.
“It is a dream come true for me. At first I thought the idea would die, but am happy that teammates have been giving me enough support to progress. I am promising more stage plays and radio soaps,” says Kazembe.
24/7 is centred on serious issues that affect the youths such as leadership, education, immorality, culture and health. The play comes in episodes themed on one goal, to educate, inform and entertain.
Njunga, a teacher at Bangwe Islamic Secondary School, writes the play which is currently on episode 16.
Kazembe says they designed the play to be sustainable by not limiting it to a topic.
He says they will be changing topics and have ideas that can sustain it for five years without break.