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Musicians brainstorm

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Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President Reverend, Chimwemwe Mhango, Tuesday held a meeting with members of the Southern Region Chapter at Claim Building in Blantyre.

The meeting, among others, was aimed at ironing out misunderstandings the members had over some issues, including payment of membership.

Payment of membership has been a hot debate especially on the Southern Region Chapter social media forum where some members questioned as to why membership fee was being paid directly to the national executive.

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Some members had also complained that they had paid their membership fee but were sidelined from the several workshops.

“It was a very important meeting basically there were other issues which members did not understand, for instance, payment of membership but that has now been cleared,” Mhango said.

The meeting, which saw tempers rise, lasted for sometime as members deliberated on several issues affecting musicians and the creative industry in the country.

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“We also looked at the issue of the office. You may recall that we have been here at the Claim Mabuku because we were getting support through the Cultural Support Scheme but the project ended. So we are now supposed to move out,” he said.

Recently, Copyright Society of Malawi (Cosoma) and associations engaged the government to ask for space at Blantyre Cultural Centre where they were given a go ahead.

But this was upon renovation of the offices which are still in poor shape.

Cosoma Senior Licensing Officer, Rosario Kamanga, said recently that they had failed to raise money to renovate the offices and that they were still looking for funding.

Meanwhile, Mhango has said they are currently running different projects–one funded by Hivos through Cultural Fund Malawi and Swedish Musician Union.

“With Hivos we are conducting training on, among others, stage management and music dynamics and yesterday (Monday) we were in Balaka and we will also go to Zomba,” Mhango said.

The Mum leader said music was making progress but was quick to say that more was yet to been done.

“Some artists are doing well but some have to work hard. Again we need to work together as members of one family for the growth of the industry. I would like to call upon people to support artists and avoid pirating their music,” he said.

Diwa Khwiliro, who is destined for a comeback having finalised four singles, described the meeting as an eye-opener.

“We have deliberated on so many things for the good of the music industry and more importantly, the misunderstandings which were there have been ironed out. As musicians we need not to be divided but work as one.” Khwiliro said.

He observed that so many things have changed on the ground now and called on musicians to embrace technology especially in selling their music.

Southern Region Chapter Chairperson, Papa Mtume, said it was a good meeting that gave the members a platform to get the unanswered questions.

“All I can say is that as musicians we are one, as artists lets be members of Mum and work in unity otherwise if we work in isolation this is not healthy,” Mtume said.

Some of the artists, who patronised the meeting included veteran Patrick Simakweli, Mum Vice President, Favoured, Martha and Mum trustee and former president Wellington Chatepa.

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