Miracle Katantha started Sapitwa New Line Cinema in 2017 while he was a fourth-year university student at Blantyre International University in Malawi.
He self-funded the startup with his pocket money, and with a little help from friends and small business.
Sapitwa New Line Cinema produces a variety of blockbuster and dramatic films, music and children’s cartoons and other entertainment products. The company also scripts and produces a civic educational radio drama named M’bandakucha which tackles legal issues. In 2018, No One Notices was launched as a charity project under Sapitwa New Line Cinema, funded from the sales of the artistic works produced by Sapitwa.
Miracle established Sapitwa New Line Cinema in order to uplift the livelihoods of actors and other people in Malawi’s arts industry. Under the auspices of No One Notices, he provides school materials to the children in order to uphold the right to education, helps the less privileged with food parcels and other necessities, and promotes youth entrepreneurship and innovation through a skills acquisition programme.
His goal is to give voice to the struggles of the most vulnerable in society, such as those living with HIV/Aids, the elderly and people living with albinism, and to bring healing solutions to other people’s troubles through the arts.
He says the vision behind Sapitwa is to become a means for dealing with the high unemployment rate in his country. His role model is Nigerian-born actor and film producer Williams Uchemba, who also runs a foundation that supports children by providing educational opportunities.
Miracle acknowledges that the lack of partnerships and sponsorships has made sustaining his enterprise challenging, but this has also led him to improvise. He believes that if he continues to deliver excellent work, the impact of the work will start attracting the right sponsors and partners.
As a relatively new player in the industry, Miracle reports that he has had incidents where he has been taken advantage of by more established organisations, and over time he has learned to trust his instincts and the company’s internal policies.
In the next five years, he wants to penetrate international markets. He also wants to acquire more facilities, cutting-edge equipment, and possibly also a broadcast station. Miracle has a passion for the elderly and would like to build shelters for them. In the future he would like to see the SADC region exporting artistic products to the rest of the world, eliminating the high rate of unemployment and creating stable economies in the region through the arts.