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Minister dates arts association leaders

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Michael Usi

Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture will Wednesday meet leaders from different arts associations at Sunbird Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.

In a letter dated July 16 2020 signed by Secretary for Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, James Thole, the leaders of the arts associations have been invited to a consultation meeting on response to Covid-19 pandemic.

“The objective of the meeting is to consult leaders of national arts associations on viable strategies which can be used to mitigate against the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Honourable Dr. Michael Usi will be in attendance to chair the meeting,” reads the letter in part.

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The letter further informs arts associations that the ministry has planned to consult the leaders of the associations on the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the offer of the office space and sensitise them on the management plans for Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC).

Some of the associations that have been invited include Book Publishers Association of Malawi, Film Association of Malawi, Journalists Union of Malawi, Malawi Folkdance, Music and Song Society, Malawi Writers Union, Musicians Union of Malawi, National Theatre Association of Malawi (Ntam), Photographers Association of Malawi, Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) and Visual Arts Association of Malawi (Vaam).

The meeting comes barely two days after some artists went on social media complaining the delays in renovation BCC by the government as well as artists struggling in the absence of live shows due to Covid-19 pandemic.

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Ntam and Pam leaders Eric Mabedi and Nyamalikiti Nthiwatiwa said Monday they were looking forward to the meeting.

“The meeting has come at the right time as we have several issues affecting the industry,” Mabedi said.

Usi also confirmed of the meeting on Sunday.

Artists are hopeful that the industry will get the support from the government having been sidelined for a long time.

They have since welcomed Usi, a renowned artist saying he was fit to lead the ministry.

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