Female Producer Eyes Filmmaking to Promote Women’s Rights

By Moses Nyirenda

Mlenga-during her work

Lilongwe, June 4, Mana: A Lilongwe-based female producer, Cathreen Star Mlenga, has set for herself a mission to promote women’s rights through production of movies that advocate messages aimed at exposing and addressing challenges affecting women and young girls in the country.

In an interview with Malawi News Agency (MANA), Mlenga said she decided to embark on the initiative after experiencing challenges which women and young girls face in their daily life.

“As a woman, I know how it feels to be looked down upon and not to be supported, hence I decided to start producing movies which have stories that would inspire fellow women and young girls to fight for their rights,” Mlenga said.

She added that through her mission, she envisions to tell success stories of women to motivate others to start believing in themselves and realise their potential.

“Through my movies, I have the vision to be telling success stories of women in order to fight the stereotypes that come with gender.

“I also want to create and celebrate heroines so as to inspire young women and girls to be strong and confident,” she said.

Currently, the producer is working to premier her new movie titled ‘Sowing Seeds’ on July 3, 2021 at Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe and on July 31, 2021 at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC).

According to Mlenga, the upcoming movie is a story of a young lady who got married to her teenage boyfriend.

“The movie ‘Sowing Seeds’ is a success story of a young lady, Nthanda, who married off to her teenage boyfriend.

“We saw the struggle which the couple went through and how they pulled through to change their misery to a success story,” she explained.

To come up with the movie, Mlenga said she was inspired by the death of her friend at the age of 16 while giving birth and also the works of Senior Chief Kachindamoto of Dedza in ending early marriages in her area.

Through the movie, the 25-year-old producer said she wants to positively influence mindset change and promote social behaviour communication change on early marriages and unwanted pregnancies among the youth.

One of the country’s feminists and founder of Foundation for Girls Leadership, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) that supports girls, Memory Banda, said Mlenga’s idea would expose challenges that women and young girls face in the country.

“It is interesting that Cathreen has decided to rewrite stories about women and young girls in moving images. I can see her idea will expose challenges that affect women and girls in our country.

“In addition, the idea will raise an alarm so that relevant authorities like NGOs and government should work on challenges affecting women and young girls by bringing best solutions to the challenges,” Banda said.

Film Association of Malawi (FAMA) President, Ezaius Mkandawire, hailed Mlenga for her passion in film production, saying her initiative would enhance growth of the industry.

“As an association, we are happy with the passion which Cathreen has in film making. We hope her productions will assist to grow the film industry in the country and put it on international map,” Mkandawire said.

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