By Khumbo Kaliwo:
In an effort aimed at accessing loans to propel their talents, Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) on Friday met with National Economic Empowerment Fund (Neef) officials.
Neef Board Chairperson Jephta Mtema described the meeting with musicians on Friday as fruitful.
With the creative industry struggling to make ends meet in the absence of events due to Covid, Mtema said musicians have what it takes to access loans to grow their talents, hence reaching out to them to enlighten them on processes.
According to him, Neef wants to disburse K35 billion by March 31 this year.
Mtema revealed that Neef has managed to disburse about K29 billion from February 2021 to January 2022.
“Many people do not know the processes of getting a loan from Neef and the institution has embarked on an awareness campaign so that people can access the loans without challenges,” Mtema said.
He said the fund targets to recover about 80 percent but has managed to recover only 60 percent from people who are supposed to pay back.
Mum President Gloria Manong’a has since urged members of the union to get loans from Neef to improve their lifelihoods in the wake of Covid, which has affected the creative industry greatly.
“We, as musicians can also run businesses and we can only be empowered to do this when we have access to loans,” Manong’a said.
Director of Arts in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Humphrey Mpondaminga commended Neef for reaching out to musicians on loans as part of empowering them.
The government has promised to disburse loans amounting to K75 billion by 2024.