Theatrical, political, artycal?

Who knows anymore?

Who the fuck cares...?


By Steven Carne, Aug 3 2013 08:29AM

Interesting fact form today’s discussions about FAT peopl in Malawi. One of the acting troupe - Phyllis - was one girl I just could not remember. “She’s the fat one!” says Steward. “You mean the larger framed lady?” I said with a smile.

An hour later I asked the same question as my brain was a bit fried after so much starch these last ten days. “The fat one” says Lemani. “You mean like me, the fat director!” so then ensues a discussion about how in UK we are obsessed with being thin and not being fat. And to say to someone’s face “hey you are getting fat!” is an absolute no no.

But in Malawi calling someone FAT can be a compliment and means “Hey you are doing well!” and to say “ooh you’re losing weight” means that people are worried about you. SO... all us fat buggers should move to Malawi and spread some good and feel just a little bit fine that in some people's eyes we are doing well.

By Steven Carne, Jul 29 2013 06:26PM

There's nothing like a week on your own as the only White Man in town to make you hyper aware of your skin, your voice, your colour and your general outloook on life being so dfferent. Been in Malawi for just over a week now and it's interesting that there aren't as many Mzungu's in Zomba as there were four years ago.

Nothing that much has changed really in this sleepy -once the Capital - backwater town which has a scruffy charm despite the amber dust that gets everywhere, even inside your underwear. Filming here is no easy task but it's invigorating to say the least. Malawi has no film industry to speak of but when it does start (there are a few young filmmakers in Lilongwe and Blantyre) there are stories here to shock and amaze the world.

I'm here with Purple Field Productions making a drama which started out with the remit to be "a drama to help farmers with new farming techniques to tackle climate change" but has ended up being a gritty hard-hitting drama of modern rural village life in Malawi. As I began to draft the story together after making a farming education film in 2011 I realised that i really couldn't make a farming drama as such because farming is a way of life here - if you dont farm you don't eat - and that a film about farming really is a film about life, it's highs, lows, vicious tragedies and comical characters.

Jonthan Mbuna the Malawian writer will translate the script this week and the world of Mbeu Yosintha (Seeds of Change) comes to life. Chief Nkhoma - a dying man who must try to save his village from starvation, Pilirani who dreams of college despite her poverty and Nachisale the abused wife who must stand up to her drunken husband. It's going to be great. Working with untrained actors and local people in Chichewa I've got my work cut out for me but i love it here and I love these people who despite having NOTHING are smiling, positive, gracious individuals who I am honoured to know.

For more info about PFP go to

Follow me on Twitter @PFPMalawi

RSS Feed

Follow me blog