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Creatives finally petition Parliament

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Creatives Monday marched peacefully to Parliament in Lilongwe where they presented a petition lobbying for the speedy enactment of the National Arts and Heritage Council (Nahec) Bill, which is at the Ministry of Justice.

The enactment of the bill, which Nahec taskforce chairperson Maxwell Chiphinga says is long overdue, will pave the way for the establishment of Nahec.

The petition was received by legislator Thoko Tembo, who is also an artist.

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It follows another petition that creatives presented to Parliament last year which was received by legislators Billy Kaunda and Mike Bango but Chiphinga said they decided to make another move after seeing that there was no progress.

He described the awareness march as a success and that they would be looking for nothing but action from Parliament.

“There was no violence during the march; creatives from all artistic disciplines and heritage united for one common goal to raise the bar for the industry that has been sidelined for a long time and, on our way, we carried placards voicing our concerns and also had musicians such as Dan Lu and Evans Meleka performing,” Chiphinga, popularly known as Max DC, who is also National Theatre Association of Malawi President, said.

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He said Nahec was significant in the formalisation of the creative industry.

“Nahec will help regulate the creative industry, and we will have cultural villages set up and this will translate into employment and even amplify tourism. There is just so much from the creative industry in terms of helping develop this country,” Chiphinga said.

He said the establishment of Nahec would also allow the creative sector to receive subvention from the government.

Chiphinga went further to say that they have been assured by Tembo that there would be progress in having Nahec Bill passed in Parliament.

Tembo said he had received the petition from fellow creatives.

“I will do everything I can to make sure that the petition is presented to Parliament in a timely manner,” he said.

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