Focus on Malawi

Last November, the African nation of Malawi hosted its second annual screening of FOAM (Focus on Ability, Malawi) to an audience of approximately 200 people.

The huge and enthusiastic attendance was pre-empted by FOA's platform at Blantyre Arts Festival where the FOAM team screened a selection of 2017 films. It was here that prominent people such as Robert de Maat, architecture lecturer at The Polytechnic of the University of Malawi learnt about FOAM 2018, came to appreciate the abilities of people with a disability and wondered how he could incorporate their rights in his industry. Also at the Blantyre Arts Festival were groups of artists from Germany, Zambia and other countries.

The winner of Focus On Ability, Malawi 2018 was Chisomo Livason for his film 'The Spectacle Hand'. Creative Director, FOA, Ryan Goodwin presented Chisomo with his award and prize: $1000 dollars! Ryan said it was great to be in Malawi and see that the Focus On Ability message is strong in the community. 'Malawians are passionate about providing opportunities for people with disability and we will continue to support them through our festival. A big congratulations to our FOA Malawi team on a great event.'

'The Spectacle Hand' was screened alongside 11 more films from Malawi and six films from other countries. It's a beautifully shot and narrated documentary about David Magalasi, a motorcycle mechanic, who was born with just one arm. He has run his own garage since 2008.

David is proud to be running a business at a time and in a place where a lot of people with disability are forced to beg to get by. Unfortunately, David's biggest challenges are not of his own making - things like clients not paying him and people stealing his tools. But his attitude is strong, 'It's better to die trying that just stay idle.'

For one of the 27 inspirational Malawian stories, go to: and search 'Malawi'