Executive Director for NICE, Ollen Mwalubunju, made the remarks in Blantyre when his organisation in partnership with MBC Development Broadcasting Unit (MBC-DBU) rolled out a two-day training for MBC drama teams in regional integration.
Officially opening the workshop, MBC Director General, Aubrey Sumbuleta said the national broadcaster will ensure that objectives of regional integration are advanced on its platforms.
The training has also been inspired by a recent research carried out by Chancellor College's Centre for Social Research which unveiled that most Malawians are not fully conversant with multilateral protocols the country has entered into under SADC regional Integration. Other studies also indicate that literacy levels especially in rural areas are very low.
Executive Director for NICE, Ollen Mwalubunju, emphasized that for this reason his organisation wants to address such gaps by working with artists who churn soaps, plays and jingles as these have a potential of sending across key messages to the majority of the population.
He further said MBC radios have the farthest reach and its radio plays such as Pamajiga, Nzerunkupangwa and Sewero la Sabata Ino command a huge listenership. He thus lauded MBC as a key partner in relaying of vital messages to the public.
"MBC soaps such as Nzerunkupangwa and Sewero la Sabata ino have a long history in entertaining, informing and educating the nation. We felt that as people are being entertained, the plays can as well carry vital messages on SADC regional integration.
"We are also aware that most of our people cannot read and write so through theatre they can at least hear the messages," said Mwalubunju.
Some participants to the training
Speaking during the function MBC's Director General Aubrey Sumbuleta said the Corporation will advance objectives of the training through its platforms because the it has a mandate to educate the nation on such important matters.
"As you may be aware the mandate of MBC is to inform, educate and entertain. Actors/artists play a very important role in helping MBC fulfill its mandate. The coming in of this training could not have come at a better time than this more especially when Government is stressing on the importance of regional integration. Countries like Malawi, Mozambique are working closely together. There's a lot of information that countries do share, in areas of health, agriculture, trade and so forth.
"There are also issues relating to COVID-19. Countries cannot fight the pandemic in isolation. It has to be fought jointly because there's migration of people from one country to another so actors/artists play an important role in ensuring that the masses out there are civic educated on issues of SADC regional integration," said Sumbuleta.
NICE in collaboration with MBC-DBU has pooled together dramatists, producers and officials from relevant ministries to plan together and inculcate the essence of articulating issues of SADC regional integration in their subsequent plays.