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Artists welcome new government, call for support

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Ezaius Mkandawire

Artists in the country have called on the new government led by President Lazarus Chakwera and his vice Saulos Chilima to take interest in the creative sector which has been sidelined for a longtime.

Chakwera and Chilima were sworn in as President and Vice at Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC)–Malawi Square in Lilongwe yesterday following their triumph in the Fresh Presidential Election which was held on June 23 2020.

Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President Gloria Manong’a welcomed the new government and wished them the best of luck in their undertakings in developing the country.

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“As Mum and the entire creative industry, we are looking forward to work with the new government. We believe President Chakwera and his Vice Saulos Chilima will not take their eyes away from the creative industry,” Manong’a said.

With the creative industry affected with Covid-19 pandemic, Manong’a said they were looking forward to support from the government.

“We believe that the new government will solve our problems and we have hope that they will bring the Arts Council into effect which we have been lobbying for a long time,” the Mum leader said.

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Film Association of Malawi (Fama) President Ezaius Mkandawire, said the coming in of the new government presents certain changes in the creative sector.

“Our hope is that they should understand the value of the creative sector. We hope the new government will re-look into the budget which had sidelined creativity,” the Fama leader said.

Visual Arts Association of Malawi (Vaam) President Gilbert Mpakule, whose art association is struggling and is yet to hold its Annual General Meeting (AGM) due to inadequate funds, said they were hopeful that the new government will help them.

“In the absence of Arts Council , art associations cannot receive any subvention. We need support in terms of grants and again, we have been lobbying for the National Gallery for a long time, we hope this will be looked into,” Mpakule said.

Pen Malawi President Alfred Msadala said the development of arts has stalled in the country.

“Our expectations are that we will grow with the new government. There was a project to build the School of Arts through the Integrated Arts programme spearheaded by Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) and it was being funded at some point but it stopped,” Msadala said.

He also said that having approved the Cultural Policy sometime back, the Arts Council would have come into effect.

Actor Mphundu Mjumira also welcomed the new government and called upon it to consider the creative industry.

“The previous governments completely forgot us. We need support,” Mjumira said.

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