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Mum South chapter honours old-timers

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DECORATED—Chimombo (c) receives his hamper from Kamwendo Banda (left) and Tonny Chitimatima

Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) Southern Chapter Chairperson Ethel Kamwendo Banda on Friday joined voices that have come from creatives calling for the establishment of National Arts and Heritage Council (Nahec), whose Bill is yet to be enacted by Parliament.

The renowned gospel songstress said this during the chapter’s 2021-22 annual celebration at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre where for the first time it honoured 11 veteran musicians.

“It pains me that musicians are not respected, artists are not valued and this can be seen from the absence of Arts Council. This is long overdue, let the government hear our cry and give us Arts Council,” Kamwendo Banda said amidst cheers.

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Recently, creatives petitioned Parliament where they presented their second petition calling for the enactment of Nahec Bill, having not seen any progress from their first petition presented last year.

During the event, Mum Board Chairperson Wycliffe Chimwendo also called upon the government to help the creative sector by establishing Nahec which he said would help uplift the industry.

Earlier on, Kamwendo Banda said she started music a long time ago and that she continues to live it.

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“I make my bread and butter from music and nothing else and now there are people who ask you saying, apart from music, what else do you do? Music is a career and it is a job. It is a career that is very vital and music is used in a lot of platforms,” she said.

Kamwendo Banda said they planned a number of programmes when they were being ushered into power but they failed to fulfill some of them due to Covid.

“The first thing on our programme was to honour veteran musicians; we didn’t have money in our coffers but, with support from players such as Mr Entertainer Jai Banda, we have managed to do it today. This is the beginning of more things to come,” she said.

The ‘Ndiumboni’ maker also called for unity among musicians.

The 11 veteran musicians that were honoured on the day and received certificates, cash and hampers are Overton Chimombo, Cowboy Elias Ziphondo famed for the track ‘Ndimakonda Magitala’, Patrick Simakweli, Giddes Chalamanda, Henry Kamwendo of Kamwendo Brothers, Eneles Mseula, Lucky Stars Boniface Ndamera of the ‘Chinafuna Mbale’ fame, former Makasu and Kalimba keyboardist Stain Phiri, former Kalimba bassist Francis Chintembo, Davie Phiri and Snowden Ibbu.

All the veteran artists were present at the event except Ndamera and they all could not hide their excitement for being honoured while still alive.

Entertainers Promotions Director Tonderai Banda was the guest of honour and represented his father Mr Entertainer, who was also decorated with a certificate for his immense contribution to the creative industry.

During the event, JCC Director Luc Deschamps also hailed Mum South chapter for honouring veteran artists and donated K100,000 to support the chapter.

Other players who were present during the event which climaxed with dance and saw a performance from Giddes offering his track ‘Liny’, included Mum President Gloria Manong’a and Copyright Society of Malawi Board Member Apostle Enesia Chitheka Lewis.

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