Artists speak on blackouts


Effects of incessant power outages have not spared the creative industry.
Random interviews with different artists have indicated that their activities have been affected, a development that has impacted their income.
Actor Stanley Mambo, who recently performed in the United Kingdom, said they were affected by electricity supply problems.
“Things are tough without electricity. We have been forced to spend a lot of money on essentials such as fuel for generators. Artists are digging deeper because venues can no longer be accessed for free, even when it comes to rehearsals,” Mambo said.
Mambo owns Madsoc Theatre in Lilongwe.
Producer Gresham Mokwena said studios have had to adjust as well.
“I have been forced to spend a lot of money on inverters and batteries. Of course, I am better off but other colleagues have had their instruments damaged because of power supply interruptions,” Mokwena said.
Producer and musician Lulu said they were failing to concentrate in the studio because of power supply challenges.
“For one to produce a good song, they need to have enough time but, now, with these blackouts, one is forced to compromise. This is not healthy; creativity needs a good environment which is not there right now,” Lulu said.
Ras Peter Kansengwa, who is a renowned photographer, said his business has been affected.
“We have had to lose out on business opportunities because of power supply interruptions as we cannot charge camera batteries on time. Taking pictures or shooting events demand enough power,” Kansengwa said.
Visual artist and filmmaker, Elson Kambalu, who owns La Galleria, said productivity has been negatively impacted by blackouts.
“It’s pretty difficult. Some of us prefer working at night because it quiet and less busy but, now, all that has changed. We are no longer sure of the times electricity supply will be restored. We keep on waiting for the time to start work,” Kambalu said.
He recalls losing data for his Mlandu Wa Njinga film because of power cuts.
“And, as a visual artist, I cannot paint in darkness. I need light and, as such, progress has been slow,” Kambalu said.
Recently, musician, ‘Soldier’ Lucius Banda bemoaned the challenge of power supply interruptions, saying they were forced to dig deeper into their pockets during the Sand Music Festival.
“It’s not only the festival we hosted but we are forced to spend more during shows we hold because you have to run on generator sometimes throughout the show,” Lucius said.

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