The blaring sound from hybrid speakers mounted at Nkope Community-Based Orphanage ground in Traditional Authority Nankumba in Mangochi District was audible to the people that converged on the place.
Even those with hearing difficulties could hear the sound with no compromise.
The songs played were more inviting that cajoled the gatherers who included district commissioner Raphael Piringu.
Communities from the surrounding area failed to hold their dancing urge as they swarmed the place and impulsively found themselves on the dancing floor, twisting their waist as if there is no tomorrow.
Their dancing skills could not surpass adult literacy Dyna Malonga and her friends.
It all started after the master of ceremony called her name to receive her certificate.
Emerging from nowhere, Malonga flew herself into the ground while displaying all sorts of dancing styles, attracting jeers and ululations from the people.
“I have every reason to dance whatever style I want because this is the day I am bidding farewell to ignorance,” said the octogenarian.
Malonga, who comes from Mwalemba Village in Sub-Traditional Authority Chiwalo, said she enrolled for the programme to know how to read and write.
“I registered for adult literacy classes to acquire reading and writing knowledge,” she said.
The elderly woman confessed that previously, she had difficulties to locate buses.
She explained: “Originally, I am from Phalombe and this is where most of my relatives live. So whenever I wanted to visit them, it was difficult locate a bus.
“This is the reason that compelled me to register for the classes so that I can get out of the shame. I am now happy because I am able to read and write.”
Her counterpart Tapiwa Munthali, 28, a fish monger from Mvunguti Village in the area, said adult education has helped her solve the mathematical challenges she has been facing.
“For years, I have been failing to correctly calculate money when sellling my merchandise as such I ended up being cheated by customers. But not anymore,” she said.
Munthali recounted the trauma they were going through due to their ignorance.
“We were facing embarrassments in many places. If it were not at the bank to sign bank deposit slips, it was when receiving social cash transfer money. But all is history now,” she said.
Mangochi remains one of the country’s districts with high illiteracy rate at 53 percent, according to 2018 Malawi Census.
Many girls and boys drop out while in primary school and enter into early marriages or travel to South Africa for greener pastures.
This contradicts government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) plan of ensuring that Malawian youths are invested in early education to ensure quality and sustainable development.
Adult literacy education can address the illiteracy gap if it were implemented and open a floodgate of economic opportunities, thereby helping the country to get transformed.
Speaking during the graduation last Friday, Mangochi district community development officer Dalitso Mndinda touted the programme as critical in developing or transforming communities.
“People who are literate can sustain their lives. This is all the more reason as a district we are promoting this initiative,” he said.
Mndinda expressed satisfaction with the graduation saying it will motivate more people to enrol.
In his remarks, the DC said the knowledge people get from adult literacy will compel them to embark on different economic ventures.
“We expect successful businesses or undertakings from the graduants,” said Piringu while urging more men to patronise the classes.
He urged NGOs and stakeholders to support the initiative through resources so that issues of adult illiteracy are in the past in the district.
Emmanuel International, an NGO which supports adult literacy education in the district through the USaid funded Titukulane Project, vowed to continue supporting the efforts.
“Our project is undertaking a number of interventions, including supporting the village, savings and loans groups in nine traditional authorities in the district.
“So we are interested in adult literacy intervention because we are fully aware that it is only those who can read and write that can positively contribute to the development of the country,” says social behaviour change coordinator Mavuto Mizwa.
Chief Chiwalo thanked the district council for the initiative saying it has helped his subjects to attain knowledge which will help them run businesses and even understand agricultural calendar.
2 417 adult learners graduates,1 972 females and 445 males from the 439 learning centres in the district graduated after undergoing a 10-month training.