Founder of Mikozi network and a market leader in the domain of art promotion in Malawi, Bright Chiligo on Monday moved on to recognize talent by presenting writer and spoken word artist Joseph Daniel Sukali with an Honorary Award on Social Activism and Behavior Change through Writing at an event that took place at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre.
The award came on merit following the writer’s unanswering efforts and consistency in using writing as a weapon for social change and behavior alternation on the Malawian Scene.
Speaking during the award presentation, Chiligo said Sukali is a rare gem in the world of writing since he has been using his art to address different social issues with mental health as his central theme.
“It is all there for you to appreciate his first book ‘ dealing with a heartbreak’. ‘Therapy for Broken’ has proved to be one of the most relevant digital copies published by a Malawian youngster. His recently published book ‘Harnessing Inner Tranquility’ has mental health as its central theme puts much emphasis on self-development.
“It is due to his relentless efforts and consistency embodied in his craftsman that has proven to be impactful on society at large that we have decided to honor this mental health advocate,” he said.
Chiligo said there has been a generational gap in the writing circles that had to be filled.
“We want to fill the generational gap that has existed for so long in the writing industry. The old legends are still modern legends. You are the future and it starts now. We believe in what you are doing and we believe with the necessary support you will be a legend of the next generation. It’s time we diversify the talents and art we promote,” he said.
In his remarks after receiving the award, Sukali said he was very grateful when he received the good news considering how impactful Mikozi network is at the moment on art promotion in Malawi.
Sukali urged Mikozi network to continue supporting and promoting art in general and not stick to the music industry only. He said the award came at a perfect time and give him more strengths to do more in writing.
“The award has come at a perfect time. I love writing and I love addressing mental health and social issues. This award will just refuel me and remind me when I feel like giving on the art that there are some people that find my work worthwhile”, he said.
He urged Malawians to start cultivating a reading culture in themselves and their children if they are not to miss important things in life.
“There is more we miss in life if we ignore books. We need to read more than we watch movies or TV if we are to be mentally liberated”, said Sukali.
On government’s part in art promotion, Sukali said the government is doing its best and that there is now a revolution in the art industry than before.
“There is now a revolution in art. The government is doing enough in promoting the art. I see the dawn of a new generation and writing will take roots again. I see hope and keep writing as you love the art. We need to share our perspectives of the world we live into the next generation “, he said.
Joseph Daniel Sukali, aged 26 is a Mzuzu University graduate who hails from Zomba. Over 40 of his poems and books namely Dealing with a Broken Heart, Whispers of the Beating Heart, Therapy for Broken and others have been published in the Best New African Poet 2020 Anthology, African and Eastern European Languages Anthology and Writers Global Movement.
He is currently working on his first novel” A Dance in the Mud”.