Poetry Association of Malawi (Pam) has secured a land for construction of its offices through an agreement with Innobuild.
The land, located in Lilongwe and worth about K3.7 million, is a donation from Innobuild to the poetry body after the two sides entered into partnership.
Pam President Robert Chiwamba said on Friday in Lilongwe during the signing of the agreement that the association has been experiencing challenges in sourcing financial support from organisations because it has no physical address.
He said that organisations and companies could not trust Pam because of lack of physical address.
“So, we thought that maybe we should try to partner a leading company in real estate because we thought, on our own, we could not manage to secure a plot because we are bankrupt,” Chiwamba said.
Having made this gigantic step of owning its own land, Pam is now targeting entering into other partnerships to enable it start building offices.
Innobuild Chief Executive Officer Billy Chiotha said the firm has been in business for six years with support from Malawians.
He said the partnership was one way of giving back to citizens that have been supporting the company and, at the same time, contributing to the development of the creative industry.
“We need to understand that if we want to grow, we cannot do that on our own; if we want to be there in five years from now, we need to create clientele.
“So, partnering with Poetry Association of Malawi, is meant to create clientele and also help us give back to Malawians,” Chiotha said.
He said poetry is one art discipline which has kept people entertained and at the same time tackled issues affecting society, hence giving them support.
The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two sides was witnessed by Director of Arts in the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Humphrey Mpondaminga.
Mpondaminga said there was a need for arts associations to have physical addresses for them to be taken seriously.
Many of the arts associations in the country are operating without offices and some have been lobbying the government to offer them offices at Blantyre Cultural Centre which is currently undergoing rehabilitation.
In the past years, arts associations used to have offices at Claim Mabuku in Blantyre but this move was being supported by Royal Norwegian Embassy through Cultural Support Scheme, which phased out.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.