Book publishers Claim Mabuku, organisers of the just ended students short story and nthano writing competition, say they are not impressed with the reception the competition was accorded.
Claim Mabuku general manager Andrew Chisamba said the development poignantly points to lack of improvement in the reading and story writing culture among students and Malawian society at large.
“The number of participants was not impressive considering the number of schools that we have here in Malawi. Next time we believe the schools will be aggressive enough to encourage their students to participate.
“It is a lost opportunity as we tried to do everything possible to try and woo more schools and students to participate in this competition. We tried as much to reach out to every school in the country but still the turn-out has been desimal,” he said.
The books retailer organised a nthano and story writing competition for both junior and senior secondary students in the country as part of their 50th anniversary celebrations which will be held on April 28th.
From over 1 000 secondary schools operating in the country, only 70 came forward to participate in the competition.
“The reading culture is still a challenge in Malawi that is why you see that we have had problems where publishers do not really publish general literature. They just publish literature for specific areas for text books like in our case where we can publish Christian literature,” he said.
Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) president Alfred Msadala, who was one of the judges during the competition, said the quality of the entries despite being impressive need to improve in terms of quantity.
“From the entries that we got, it shows there is a lot of potential suffice to say that we are not impressed with the quantity that came. There is need for continuity because if we cannot continue to nurture these budding writers then we are actually killing their potential,” he said. n