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Ministry geared to enforce policies for creative growth

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Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi has said that his ministry will do everything possible to enforce policies that favour the growth of the arts industry.

For a long-time, the arts industry has cried foul over being sidelined, with the country still yet to have the Arts Council on the ground.

Usi, who is also an artist, said the ministry is open to suggestions to improve on matters affecting the industry.

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“Artists should be assured that the Tonse government would like to see them benefit from their talents and furthermore turn them into employers as is the case in other countries,” the minister said.

He, however, said, for this to happen, there is a need to be disciplined and adhere to the strategies set tenaciously.

“There is also need to know when to compete and when to complement each other,” Usi said.

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He said there were a lot of players in the industry who were doing more for the industry to grow and commended them for their efforts.

“We have players like Wycliffe Chimwendo, Overton Chimombo and Reverend Mhango who are instrumental in sensitising their fellow artists to important things,” Usi said.

He said since he took over office, he has critically analysed perception of some artists saying some were also to blame.

“Since I assumed office, I have met many artists but there are some that talk, write and complain but do not come for a constructive discussion. They think and believe that they have all the solutions affecting the art industry but do not share,” Usi said.

He said he was happy that many of the celebrated arts were on board.

“There are many fine and constructive artists. A good example is Q Malewezi. Eric Mabedi also remains a fantastic resource for the ministry because of his humility.

“My ministry will soon be meeting artists to discuss issued raised during my meeting with their counterparts from Zambia. Those that want to work with the ministry are most welcome,” Usi said.

As regards culture, the minister said there was a need “to illuminate the authenticity of our culture and not suffocate it with foreign cultures”.

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