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Artists, event managers asked to utilise Sadc meet

BRAINSTORMING—Delegates during the workshop

Michael Usi

By Ellen Pindani:

Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife has said it will utilise arts and culture to market the country during the forthcoming Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State Summit.

The country is expected to host the summit next month.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Michael Usi, said this on Tuesday in Dowa District during a workshop with cultural and artistic events’ organisers.

Usi, who is also an artist, said that his ministry will take advantage of the summit to attract tourists from all over the world.

“This is a good opportunity for Malawi. We need to step up our game and make sure that we display our arts. We need to be ready and take advantage of this summit and reach out to the people who will come from other countries and art is vital in this,” Usi said.

The minister has now and again said that art and culture should move together with tourism.

For a long time, artists have bemoaned the tendency by the government of sidelining the creative industry on issues of national importance despite having the potential to uplift the country’s economy.

During the workshop, Usi pleaded with cultural and artistic events’ organisers to put more efforts into their work.

“It’s a question of discipline that is demanded to move Malawi forward. We need to match our words with action,” he said.

One of the events organisers, Sharmila Elias of Lake of Stars Festival, described the workshop as fruitful and timely.

“I think it’s time for us to put our heads together as the creative industry and start to collaborate. We, as event managers, need to work together to bring out the best,” Elias said.

Lake of Stars, which is one of the top festivals in the country, will not take place this year due to Covid alongside Blantyre Arts Festival.

Despite Covid, some festivals are on this year and they include Sand Music set to take place on October 1 to 3 at Sunbird Nkopola in Mangochi District, Tumaini and Handout.

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