By Grecium Gama

 

A Malawian child with disability whose story was submitted at the 2020 Focus on the Ability (FOA) Shortfilm contest by the NOVA employment may hold new hope for support, his film maker has said. Filmamker Sam Majamanda who submitted the boy’s story at the prestigious annual festival which recognizes amazing efforts by people with disabilities from across the world said this in an interview on Thursday.

According to Majamanda since commencement of voting in the FOA festival on August 18 he has received a lot of requests for more information on Talandira Kogoya (the subject of his 5 minute documentary) to understand how they can assist him, aside pledging their vote for him to win in the internationally held contest.

“Since voting started it has been a busy week because I have to respond to many comments and enquiries on the boy, with so many people pledging to come and pay him a visit as soon as possible. Church groups and politicians being some of the notable sectors of society that have paid attention,” said Majamanda.

Upon the opening of votes in the FOA shortfilm festival that can be accessed from www.focusonability.com.au, a triler for Chosen, the documentary for Talandira Kogoya went viral on social media, evidently due to the seriousness of the boy’s disability and the skills he portrays in the movie. The boy who was born with no palms and only one fully developed leg is seen in the trailer writing in class, riding a bicycle and eating, among other things.

Asked whether he thinks his documentary would carry the day, Majamanda said he believes he did his best to showcase Talandira’s amazing skills and judging from comments and responses from both Malawi and across the boarders there is hope for winning. He however called on Malawians of goodwill to continue coming forward with their votes and assistance, adding that seeing the boy in a better place would satisfy him and hopefully most Malawians.

Commenting on the competition, Project Manager for NOVA employment in Malawi Sylvia Kasiya said the festival which in Africa currently runs in Malawi and Zimbabwe only, seeks to change people’s fixed beliefs and misconceptions towards values and lives of people with disabilities.

In a statement, Kasiya said “Since it’s commencement in 2017 in Malawi the festival has awarded 8 people with disability and skillful filmmakers in the country and some of the people with disability have been able to establish themselves with the prize money through starting of businesses and furthering of studies”.

She added that while filmamakers win at the festival, people with disability win more through the exposure they get that has changed many people’s lives elsewhere and here in Malawi.

Meanwhile voting for the 2020 contestants continues until August 24 and 61 Malawian films and documentaries are up for votes on the competition’s website.

 

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