By Howard Mlozi, contributor:
Executive Assistant to President Lazarus Chakwera, Sean Kampondeni, said on Friday that it is the dream of the President to see to it that artists improve socially and economically to achieve sustainable development.
Kampondeni said this at Havilah Park in Lilongwe where he presided over the launch of musician Sam Shaba’s second album titled Kukaya.
With the creative industry feeling sidelined when it comes to support, Kampondeni, said artists, just like other players, are instrumental in the country’s development.
“The vision of President Lazarus Chakwera is to see lives of Malawians, including artists, changing. He is committed to uplifting the arts in Malawi through relevant sectors because it is one of the important industries that directly contribute to sustainable development,” Kampondeni said.
Kampondeni, who is also State House’s Director of Communications, hailed artists for putting up great performances during the show.
“Malawi has got talent. I am amazed with what I have experienced today. From sound and lighting to performances, I enjoyed every moment,” he said.
The launch, which attracted an impressive audience, saw Shaba sharing the stage with artists such as Joram Nyirongo, Switzerland-based Ernest Ikwanga and Blantyre acts Keturah and pianist Gresham Mokwena.
Shaba, an afro-jazz musician, who derives his music from traditional dances particularly from the Northern Region, said he was honoured to have Kampondeni grace the launch.
“Having Mr Sean Kampondeni, I felt the presence of the President at my show. This is a huge motivation not only to me, but also the arts industry as a whole. It shows how committed the President is to developing the arts industry,” he said.
However, Shaba called on the government to invest in the arts.
“Malawian artists are great assets for export. What government needed to do is to pay attention to the industry in terms of investment,” he said.
His sentiments were corroborated by Mokwena who said artists need policies that can be translated into action.
Recently, Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Minister Michael Usi reaffirmed government commitment to uplifting the arts industry by, among other things, promising that the Arts Council will be established soon.
Shaba said people enjoyed every moment of the performances and that he is looking forward to do more.