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Value Malawian artists —Great Angels Choir

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By Sam Banda Jnr:

Local artists need to be respected for their art and not being undervalued when it comes to payment for performances, Great Angels Choir Music Director, Ephraim Zonda, has said.

Zonda cried foul through his Facebook page, saying event organisers do not respect local artists and yet international acts are given all the respect including being given hefty packages when it comes to payments.

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“It is high time organisers, companies, politicians, parties and all those involved in hiring artists respected us. What we have observed over the years we have been performing is that local artists’ charges are deemed high and yet the same organisers are willing to pay international acts huge sums,” Zonda said.

He also said that, as gospel artists, they have suffered a lot when it comes to charging during events because some people feel by doing gospel music, it is their calling.

“Much as we are in gospel to spread the word of God, people need to know that most artists rely heavily on this God-given talent. This is what brings bread and butter on the table. There are some who are needy who will opt to perform for free sometimes but there are other big companies who want us to perform for free,” Zonda said.

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He said Great Angels has a rate which they use for performances.

“The argument you get from most event organisers is that local artists are expensive which is not the case. For instance as Great Angels Choir we are a big group and we normally charge K350,000 when we are performing in Blantyre and that includes transport, food and accommodation and the same applies to the Northern Region and then in Lilongwe its K150,000,” Zonda said.

He said there have never been a time when they have charged as high as K1 million.

“Many artists are struggling because they are abused and their contracts are not respected. This needs to change. Artists will only live a better life when they are respected and valued,” Zonda said.

Recently Musicians Union of Malawi (Mum) President Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango said they were ready to assist artists on issues of payment through signing of proper contracts.

“We have been receiving several complaints at our offices so it’s an issue which is very important but it lies heavily on signing contracts. Artists need to be serious with their contracts and in that way their demands will be respected,” Mhango said.

Great Angels, nicknamed The Peoples Choir has since announced that they are working on a new album titled Ufumu Umodzi Siwuwukilana. Some of the group’s albums include Mwasankha Ine and Ndiyende Bwanji.

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