My name is Fyson Masina. I did my primary education at Misesa Primary School and Jacaranda in Blantyre and later moved to Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi and completed my primary education at Chatuwa Primary School. From there, I was selected to pursue my secondary education at Nkhatabay Boys Secondary school in 2007 to 2010. After completing my secondary education, I went to Grey Matter Business School in the capital to study business management course.
It was while I was at Grey Matter Business School that I successfully passed the University of Malawi Entrance Examinations (UEE). I was selected to pursue Bachelors Degree in Journalism and Media Studies at the prestigious constituent college of the University of Malawi, The Polytechnic. I therefore graduated with a diploma at Grey Matter Business School under the board of Association of Business Executives (ABE) UK. I’m happy that I graduated with distinctions.
I’m now in third year at the Malawi Polytechnic studying. My passion is to become a video producer. I’m proud that, while at the Polytechnic, I’ve made a mark to be the first student to produce a video documentary at the college since the inception of the programme in the year 2000.
The documentary was produced last academic year while in second year. Most of our studies here are more of theories than practical and most of the students do not show interest to practice what they learn in class. I’ve always find it fun to put into practice what I learn in class. With the limited resources available, I’ve managed to produce two documentaries, written and produced by me, several video news clips that others have managed to feature on the national television Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBCTV).
Through Lawilink, a local Non Governmental Organisation owned by Zac Darkes which aims at empowering the local population with technical skills, I have managed to be the camera operator for over 20 documentaries and I’ve also been invited to assist in editing some of the projects.
I have also been involved in shooting and directing a documentary titled UNIMA @ 50 when the University of Malawi was celebrating its 50 years of existence in Malawi. I felt really humbled because the project was managed by high profile officials and to add on that I was the youngest in the crew. Only two students, me and my friend were involved in the project.
Apart from that, I’ve also been involved in different projects run by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Polytechnic. The project was introduced to me by my former Head of Department, Mr Kanyang’wa, who saw my passion in Television Production. I’ve been working as a field camera operator for UNICEF and the Malawi Polytechnic.
The project has been an eye opener to me to learn different skills. Apart from simply being a camera operator, UNICEF officials have also taught me how to become project coordinator for different initiatives and how to use my journalistic knowledge in other areas.
Apart from video documentaries, I’ve also done audio documentaries and news clips.
Polytechnic is an institution that teaches journalism and produces journalists but to my surprise, I found out that the institution has no newsletter produced by its journalism students. While in second year, I mobilised my three friends, Yamikani Kamoto, Andrew Viano and racheal Chadza to get ourselves organised and produce a newsletter for the institution and we managed to produce one for the institution. We also approached the corporate world to support the initiative for it to be sustainable but the initiative is still facing some setbacks but I still hope this will work properly in the next two semesters.
Apart from print, radio and television, I have also learnt some practical skills from Zac Darkes of Lawilink on how to manage the online media. I’ve been involved in managing Lawilink website and the facebook page. This has put me far ahead of my fellow students at the college. Though young, Zac saw talent in me that he made me the acting General Manager for Lawilink. This put me at a position to learn almost everything as far as media and management is concerned. I’m always inspired by this man. I have chaired high profile meetings with government officials like councillors, Members of Parliament, Speakers of Parliament, Principle Secretaries, Directors and Chief Executive Officers of different companies and organisations. I’ve also interacted with the most respected athletes, football players and musicians.
Telling stories through pictures has always been my passion. I remember growing up in an area where most kids like watching television and later imitate what the actors or actresses were doing.
This made me to develop the passion to become a television personality.
The tune changed when I reached secondary school. I discovered that most of the media products, especially videos in the country, were poorly done, half baked. I saw lack of creativity in most of the video productions. As people were watching videos with the aim of entertaining themselves, I used to watch the same videos with a third eye. How the video was done and how it relates to the story. I was also anxious on how camera shots and angles were taken and the meaning they portrayed. This made me to mould myself so that I can become a video producer and made a difference in Malawi.
Most of the videos that we used to watch then were mostly Nigerians because Malawian film industry is still at its budding stage. Today, the industry is flourishing at an organised pace. Most of the people produce videos because they have a camera but they don’t know the basics or principles on how to come up with proper videos. They lack the expertise which makes their work to be undesirable.
The school itself does not give us with adequate skills in video production due to lack of teaching and learning materials. But with passion, I do most of my studies online. I was also blessed to have lecturers who are eager and willing to teach me most of the basics. I hope with time, the industry will improve. At the moment, I’m inspired by local producers like Sukez and Ron CZ who are trying their best to improve the industry, specifically in music video production. There are a lot of international producers who inspires me, too numerous to mention.
I would like also to change the way media is managed in Malawi. I’ve grown up in an area where most people are uneducated and unemployed. And to add on that, I’m the only person in my family who has managed to go to University. This is due to limited space and resources at the colleges.
And from my experience, most of the youths do not like school because it delays them from different things in life including marriages. I, therefore, want to use the same media to empower my fellow youths so that they can start some initiatives that can improve their lives economically. I want the youths to discover the potential that they have and use their talents to generate revenue.
As a media practitioner with some basic business skills, I would like to concentrate in producing documentaries that can motivate and empower them so that they can contribute to the economy of the country.
Malawi is a developing country and most of the youths today marry at a tender age. Most of the girls get pregnant as early as 13 years old. I have learnt this through the projects that I have been involved in with UNICEF and the Polytechnic in rural areas of Malawi. So if we continue giving birth at such an early age and at such a pace with little education, our country will continue to be poorer and poorer.
The country has resources that these youths can use to generate money, what remains is how to use them. Through such documentaries, we will be able to learn from experts and share such knowledge through videos to the masses.
Most of the media houses in the country spend 70 percent to 80 percent of their airtime playing music. As far as we appreciate that music is good to our mental and physical being, the media practitioners have to fuse them with information that by the end of the day can teach their audience new ways of doing things. I would like to use the media to develop the lives of Malawians in different areas of their lives.
At the moment I’m designing my first television programme which I’m planning to start airing on the national television in August this year. It’s about motivation and empowerment.
I always give thanks to those who are making my dreams to become a reality, like my parents for their support, Zac Darkes of Lawilink and all my lecturers, friends and relatives.