Sula disburses K6 million to 5 artists
Five artists were all smiles on Friday night when they received K1,250,000 each seed funding from Sula Creative Hub, spearheaded by the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Malawi in partnership with The Music in Africa Foundation and Goethe Institute South Africa.
The five from the first cohort of the Sula Business Incubation programme namely Enelles Pemba (Arts and Craft), Mabuchi Chikuse (Audio Production), Deborah Khonyongwa (Theatre Production), Edward Nyamwera (Stone sculpture) and Isaac Misoya (Film production) received the seed funding during an event held at the Little Theatre in Zomba.
Project Lead – Sula Project, Catherine Makhumula Mtimuni, observed that the arts are one of the most least funded sectors in the country and that through Sula, they are trying to make small strides for the better.
“We invited artists from all over Malawi for the Sula Business Incubation programme. The incubation programme involved 20 artists selected from a competitive process that followed the Sula Professional Development training workshops and then, from there, we also had them pitching for seed fund from which we selected these five,” Makhumula Mtimuni said.
She said the seed funding was not a lot in terms of business but indicated that it is meant to help them start from somewhere.
“This is for the first cohort and we also have the second cohort which will also pitch for seed funding. It is not much and, hopefully, we may find other sponsors,” Makhumula Mtimuni said.
She said she was happy with the progress of Sula project in that it has grown a big network of artists and that they will continue to uplift each other in pushing artistic businesses.
Khonyongwa said she was excited to get the seed funding and that she never imagined that she would get it.
“This seed funding will help me so much as Let’s Link Up is there to help unearth talent. So, now, I will be able to reach out to budding actors out there, and help them grow their talents,” Khonyongwa said.
She urged fellow creatives to apply whenever they see opportunities and not look down upon themselves.
The event was spiced up by performances which came from among others, actor, playwright and storyteller Maxwell Chiphinga, popularly known as Max DC, who participated in the second cohort of the Sula Business Incubation programme and Zebra Band, made up of students from the University of Malawi.
The Sula Incubation programme for Malawian artists is part of the strengthening the Cultural and Creative Industries in Malawi Project.