It was all about glitz and glamour when the Capital city’s who’s who and other fun starved seekers converged Friday night at Lilongwe’s magnificent Umodzi Park to watch the most anticipated premiere of the movie Fatsani.
Perhaps the anxiety could be understood considering that since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic last year; people have been starved of entertainment owing to government restrictions put as a way of checking its further spread and transmission.
The 1500 tickets to the premiere were all sold out before 1500hrs and some who came looking for the tickets at the eleventh hour were turned back due to space limitations and the existing health protocols.
People started flocking to the area as early as 1400 hrs. to watch what could be described as Malawi’s finest movie production shot with precision, attention to detail and high class expertise.
Patrons were dressed to the occasion with most ladies in designer evening gowns while most men opted for smart casual and some in traditional designs.
Some of the high profiles who graced the event included Atupele Muluzi who came with his wife Angela and their daughter, Mark Katsonga-Phiri and some of his family members and Youth Minister Ulemu Msungama.
They dropped off from their state of the art vehicles, walked to the red carpet while posing to the clicking cameras and managed to give interviews to the press from various media outlets.
Later on, they walked back to the waiting vehicles before driving off to the designated VIP car park where the screens were mounted.
Fun-seekers waited with baited breath to catch a glimpse of the movie so well publicized and when it started beaming on the large screens mounted on strategic positions, people were much glued to the screens.
As some watched from the comfort of their air-conditioned cars, some preferred to stand outside while watching the highly anticipated local production.
The movie took people through twists and turns as it chronicled issues the public is so familiar with such as corruption and misplaced priorities which saw school children stranded after their school was closed due to politics and corruption.
Another issue the movie highlighted was lack of provision of social services such as people drinking contaminated water and subjected to water borne diseases because politics reigned supreme over everything.
The story which revolves around Fatsani who was so determined to get educated and realize her dreams of a better life, but was sadly was cut short due to selfish political interests.
An orphaned child who lost both parents to an accident, the little girl is raised by aged grandmother who could hardly make ends meet.
It never rained but poured for her as following the school closure, she was pushed to the streets to sell bananas and the streets were even harder as it subjected her to the wrath of the ruthless city police so determined to implement the politicians directive to drive out vendors at whatever cost.
The land hosting Fatsani’s school was dubiously sold off by the headmaster who was getting kickbacks from a politician and cleared the land to put up shops at the expense of poor children’s future.
Not amused with these developments, the Deputy headmistress who was later transferred as a way of silencing her went to report the matter to graft busting authorities and after investigations, the headmaster was arrested.
However the story had a tragic end as Fatsani finally lost her only surviving hope leaving her devastated and empty.
She was inconsolable at the sight of people who came to mourn her grandmother and wondered where they were all the time she so desperately needed their help as her guardian whom she depended on went to eternal glory.
So powerful, moving and emotive is the local production that it left most patrons in tears at its tragic ending.
In an earlier interview before the movie, Muluzi said he came with his family to listen to and watch a story and how it relates to everyday life.
He was all praises for the production team for a fantastic effort which represents the best of Malawi.
The 12 year old Fatsani looked stunning in a gold outfit and was in company of Chikondi who she met during the filming of the movie and are now proud friends.
The overnight sensational confessed that she did not find it a challenge remembering her lines just the same way it is at school where she is in standard eight.