Our students from Lechaptois Formation House in Balaka put up a good show at the Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe on March 26th. In front of a small but very keen audience our candidates presented two plays: “Cheap Labour” and “The Changes Identity of Slavery”. The first depicts a plantation owner in the States who is convinced to buy slaves by an unscrupulous slave trader but who is then convinced by a missionary into looking at them as human beings and eventually granting them their freedom. The second tackles the problem of modern day human trafficking: it’s the story of two young people, brother and sister, who are allured by promises made by an agent based in America only to be savagely exploited once they get to their destination.
After that we had a lively discussion on the broad issue of modern forms of slavery in Malawi with a panel made up by our confrere Jos Kuppens, Sister Florence Mwamba, the director of the Tikondane project (street children), Habiba Osman Norwegian Church Aid Programme Coordinator on Human Rights, and Raphael Sandram, voicing the concerns of the Malawi tobacco tenants. Leading the debate and weaving together the different parts of the evening was TV moderator and journalist Wisdom Chimgwede who did an excellent job.
The only disappointment was the late arrival of Luntha TV. There was some serious hiccup and the TV crew only turned up half way through the show so I don’t really know what will happen to the DVD which they were supposed to produce. Pity really for an otherwise well prepared event. A few minor details can be improved on but certainly not the enthusiasm, hard work and good will of our candidates (plus the staff at Balaka and another couple of confreres) who have given their best.