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K16 million for artists fund

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By Wezzie Gausi:

Malawi Gaming and Lottery Board have pumped in K16 million to the Artists Welfare Fund as a start-up capital.

This was disclosed when the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Michael Usi officially launched the fund in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

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He said artists can help the country to develop economically if they are willing to execute their duties professionally.

“Today, the Artists Welfare Fund has been officially launched; I want to urge all artists out there to be responsible. This will be a revolving fund. Artists are supposed to pay back (the funds) for sustainability,” Usi said.

Chief Executive Officer for Malawi Gaming and Lottery Board Foster Mulumbe pledged the continued support to the industry.

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He said the start-up fund will serve as a trial phase to see how it would be managed before pumping in more funds.

“We were approached by the Ministry on the need to help artists in the country. So we thought it wise to come up with the start-up fund and see how it will be managed.

“Through the fund we understand artists will be helped in times of need, like funerals and sickness as in the past most artists could not get help,” Mulumbe said.

President of the Film Association of Malawi Ezaius Mkandawire said the launch has come at the right time as it responds to some of the challenges facing artists.

He said the fund would also help to create employment for young people.

“This fund is the first of its kind in the country. We are ready to use it for the intended purpose and make sure there is accountability and transparency in how we manage it,” Mkandawire said.

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