Shemu Joyah

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Shemu Joyah at the 2013 Zanzibar International Film Festival.

Charles Shemu Joyah (b. 1959–present) is an award winning producer and director from Malawi. He was born in Zimbabwe. His third movie, The Road to Sunrise, was selected as the Malawian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Shame Joyah was born in Zimbabwe to Malawian parents. He later moved back to Malawi and studied for a B.Sc in Mathematics and Physics at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. He then proceeded to the United Kingdom for further studies and received a B.Sc Honours degree in surveying and mapping sciences from the University of East London. Joyah currently works as a land scientist in Malawi and provides consultancy services.[2] Joyah is a land and real estate consultant in Malawi.[3] He has used the money in his consultancy services to fund many of his artistic projects.

Art career[edit]

Joyah is talented writer and producer. He has had several short stories published in anthologies and a book published. He is a published author and also writes the scripts for movies he produces. He has written the manuscripts for both 'Seasons of Life' and ' The Last Fishing Boat'.


Seasons of a Life[edit]

Season of a Life was written, shot, edited and director Shemu Joyah.[4] The movie is internationally acclaimed and has been featured in international film festivals and won seven awards.The film has also been nominated for awards in the Kenya, Cairo, and Zanzibar Film festivals.[5][4][6] It is a Malawian court case drama that was filmed on location in Malawi. It is about a domestic worker sexually molested by her employer who struggles to empower herself and improve herlife. It was nominated in 8 categories at the 6th African Movie Academy Awards, including nominations for Best Screenplay and Best Original Soundtrack. Actress, Tapiwa Gwaza won a Nollywood award for best Performance by a supporting actress.

The Last Fishing Boat[edit]

The movie depicts the life of a fisherman whose livlihood is being transformed by the tourism industry.[5] It shows the dynamics between the traditional way of life and contemporary life.[5]

The Road to Sunrise[edit]

It was selected as the Malawian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated. It was the first film to be submitted by Malawi in the Foreign Language Oscar category.


  • "Danger in the Lake", Heineman African & Caribbean Writers - 1998[7]
  • "Rays of Hope", (short story), published in anthology - 1990, (Winner of British Council Arts and Literature competition in Malawi).

Film Timeline[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Oscars: 87 Countries Submit Films in Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 27 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Malawian Scientist Makes Award-Winning Movies - ArtMatters.Info". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  3. ^ "World Cinema Directory". Retrieved 2017-12-20.
  4. ^ a b "Seasons of a life - The movie". Retrieved 2012-10-31.
  5. ^ a b c d New Malawian film gets first nominations at international festivals | Nyasa Times Malawi breaking news in Malawi Archived 2012-11-03 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Last Updated: Thursday, April 29, 2010 (2010-04-29). "Nollywood copycats make huge impact". Archived from the original on March 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-10-31.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ Joyah, Shemu (1998-12-14). Danger in the Lake. Oxford: Heinemann. ISBN 9780435891244.