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Bpam president heads Artists Welfare Fund Board

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MASAMBA—I am glad that the government through the Department of Arts has taken the initiative

Book Publishers Association of Malawi (Bpam) President Maureen Masamba has been appointed the chairperson of the Artists Welfare Fund.

The government, through Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife in collaboration with Malawi Gaming Board, launched the Malawi Artists’ Welfare Fund in August this year.

The Artists Welfare Fund is aimed at supporting arts and artists behind creative works in the country.

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Masamba, who was recently also appointed chairperson of Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) Board of Directors, confirmed the development yesterday.

She said the board will strive to make the fund sustainable so that Malawian artists can benefit from it.

“We will be looking at membership annual subscription growth for the fund and lobbying for corporate support and sponsorship towards the fund since the corporate world does also benefit from the works of artists in various ways,” she said.

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Masamba said this is the fund that has been long overdue.

“I am glad that the government through the Department of Arts has taken the initiative to set up this fund which will benefit the artists,” she said.

Several players in the industry have since welcomed the board but said the team has a huge task ahead.

Artists have over the years bemoaned lack of support from the government and the corporate world tdespite that they contribute to the development of the country.

Having launched the fund in August, artists cried foul later after being sidelined in the 2020/21 budget presented by Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu in Parliament.

Artists have also called on the government to hasten the creation of the Arts Council for them to among others, benefit from government funding.

Other members in the board are James Kitchen, who is the Executive Director of Light of Youth Creative Organisation (Lyco), Gloria Manong’a, who is Musicians Union of Malawi president, Lucky Mkandawire, who is Photographers Association of Malawi (Photama) president and award winning actress and filmmaker Joyce Mhango Chavula.

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