UNMASKING THE GENIUS IN BUDDING DRAMATIST, FYSON BLESSINGS MUMBA

NEWS | UNTAPPED TALENT

By Yona Yona Gondwe.

Back in the days, both stage and radio plays used to be the talk of town. Late Du Chisiza junior, late Jack Phiri, the late Christopher GPMG Chiwalo et al; radio and stage plays used to rock.

When you look at such a line up, one could not hesitate but truly accept the notion that old is/was indeed good.

In those days, the then French Cultural Centre could be filled to the brim as people would flock from all corners of the southern region just to watch Kwathu Drama group, Wakhumbata ensemble theatre or Alufeyo Performing Arts doing what they knew best.

In the recent past however, performing and recording plays have been losing momentum. The current WhatsApp generation is not that in love with these areas of entertainment. Recording and performing dramas are being seen as villageish (sic) or old fashioned.

Old timers, are losing hope that the said two industries, may later be regarded as the has-beens.

Against all odds however, there is a crop of some unique and vibrant youngsters who have dedicated their lives to bringing the Du Chisiza days back.  These youngsters are spending all their time on WhatsApp as well, but discussing plays, and are on stage day in day out perfecting their skills in the theatrical world.

One of such rare species is 22-year-old Mzuzu-based actor and playwright, Fyson Blessings Mumba.

His is a journey not many of his age group ventures.

Pre-Fyson epoch in the theatrical world

2011 marked the Genesis of Fyson into this otherwise dreaded career. His curiosity and admiration of his schoolmates who were already into this game attracted him into this industry.

“I was motivated by the students who acted in a play at a SCOM conference at Viphya Private Secondary School (Mzuzu). I got so fascinated that I also developed that urge to try my luck,” he remembers.

According to him, a biblical play talking about Jesus birth but with a question “if Jesus was born in Africa, how would the society react?” (by Manasseh Chisiza), marked his first serious act to take part in.

The birth of Fyson as a drama director and play wright

Apart from being an actor, Mumba has also been writing plays and directing over the years.

In the year 2016 he wrote a play for Katoto Secondary School and directed it in preparation for Association for Teaching English in Malawi (ATEM) drama festival. “Behind the Agony” his first creation, scooped the best script accolade during that competition.

“By then Katoto Secondary School was in dire need of a playwright and director to help them in sharpening its cast. I volunteered myself in both the Play and acting skills.” Reminisces he.

Being a playwright, and actor

Fyson says being a playwright is no kids’ stuff. It requires being visionary and creative.

“It takes creativity and time since writers sometimes craft things that people have never seen or we create stories that were never there in the first place. Whatever it is, however, it has to make sense,” he lectures.

Challenges

“The challenge has always been there as to who is going to buy my plays since here in Malawi we are deprived of drama performances like competitions unlike in other countries.” Said Mumba.

That is not all.

“Being underrated due to my age is so discouraging. I’ve been encountering such on numerous occasions,” he revealed.

Successes

His plays, scoping the best scripts for two consecutive years in ATEM drama completion and scoping the first position in Superior Drama Competition to him is unforgettable success.

“Working and getting into knowing big brains in theatrical world like Manasseh Chisiza, James Gondwe, Misheck Mzumala Misheq Banda just to mention a few also adds up to my success in dramatic world,” Adds Mumba.

Dreams

The multitalented youngster dreams big! He wants to make his name internationally acclaimed.

“I want to venture into international script writing and compete with the world’s well known playwright and movie writers. That’s my dream!” dreams he.

Advice

  • To up and coming actors

“Be passionate and determined because acting is a serious thing.”

  • To directors

“Be humble and dream big because this can help productions to be matured hence Malawi’s theatrical sector can easily attract international eyes.”

Role model in the industry

Manasseh Chisiza and Morgan freeman are the jewels that Fyson looks up to every time he is on the stage.

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