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No conducive environment for arts, says Erik Paliani

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Renowned musician Erik Paliani says the country is behind in having a conducive environment for arts to flourish.

Paliani said as an artist, he was yet to enjoy his art in the country and that at the moment there was nothing to write home about as far as growth and progress was concerned.

He is one of the artists, who has raised the country’s flag as he has performed with top acts such as the late Hugh Masekela.

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“We are doing art just because we are passionate about it but its not enjoyable practicing it in Malawi. I am looking forward to that day when art will be enjoyable and the environment will be conducive,” he said.

Paliani, who spends much of his time lately in Mchinji District, bemoaned the current situation where there are no solutions to assist the creative sector, which is struggling to hold events due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Recently the media in United Kingdom reported about a first socially distanced gig that took place in Newcastle.

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About 500 separate raised metal platforms were put up, each accommodating up to five people from the same family/ household.

Questions however, were raised on social media as to whether organising events in such a way was convenient and a proper channel for event organisers to adopt across the country.

Paliani said he was impressed that some governments were thinking deeply on how to help the creative industry amidst Covid-19 pandemic.

“Now that’s leadership. Coming up with plans and solutions not just restrictions,” the singer and guitarist of the ‘Chitukutuku fame said.

Artists in the country have been out of the stage since March due to a ban on gatherings.

Musician Soldier Lucius Banda, who was recently appointed advisor to President Lazarus Chakwera on arts and youth, admitted recently that artists are struggling and that, solutions needed to be found to bail them out.

“Things are tough for artists now. They have been on break since March which is long. In the absence of performances then they have nothing to help their families with. As an advisor, I will work hard to make sure that I work with the responsible ministries and see how we can change things,” Lucius said.

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Usi, a renowned artist, assured artists during a meeting with leaders of different associations recently that he will make sure art gets all the support.

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