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Patricia Kaliati calls for support for artists with disability

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EXTRAORDINARY—Chayera draws with a
mouth as Kaliati looks on

By Chris Loka, contributor

Minister of Gender, Disability and Social welfare Patricia Kaliati has appealed to well-wishers and the corporate world to consider empowering artists with disability saying many have potential but lack resources.

Kaliati said this on Thursday in Lilongwe during the handover ceremony of teaching and learning materials to learners with special needs by Airtel Malawi Limited.

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The minister made reference to the exceptional talent of visual artist Chrisford Chayera, who paints with his mouth.

With no hands and relying on wheelchair for mobility, Chayera creatively paints using a mouth and has exhibited his works both in and outside the country.

During the handover, the former Visual Arts Association of Malawi (Vaam) president displayed paintings he made for President Lazarus Chakwera and his vice Saulos Chilima.

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Kaliati called on Airtel Malawi and other players to support artists like Chayera to boost their artistic businesses.

“Chayera is here as a role model to other persons with disability; he has proven that disability is not inability. That is why he is able to earn a living through his artistic works,” she said.

Chayera said since 1982, when he suffered from polio, he has been surviving through art but was quick to say that inadequate resources have been a limiting factor.

Airtel Malawi Managing Director Charles Kamoto said he was amazed with Chayera’s talent.

“He is special and to produce such amazing works using his mouth is really out of this world. We, as Airtel, will do something to help such talent and promote artists with disability,” he said.

Kamoto said he believes that persons with disability can do great things beyond begging in the streets.

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