Lilongwe artisans ready to reap from Sadc Summit

Artisans near Lilongwe Post Office in Old Town say they are looking forward to having good sales of their artifacts during the forthcoming Summit of Southern African Development Community (Sadc).

One of the artisans, Ras Humphrey Kambuku, told Malawi News Agency (Mana) that he had increased his stocks to meet the demand.

“Most of our customers are foreigners, we hope to have more customers visiting our stands than we normally have on daily basis,” said Kambuku.

He added that the visitors would want to return home with something Malawian; hence the artisans had agreed to have more items advertising the country and its culture.

Ras Kambalu

Ras Kambalu

“By the end of this week the whole of this place will be flooded with T-shirts, paintings and other items advertising Malawi,” said Kambuku, adding that some of the messages would be ‘I Love Malawi’, ‘Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa’ and ‘Welcome to Malawi’.

Chairperson for the Lilongwe curios and artifacts centre, Edward Chisale, who also operates at the same place but in the curios section, concurred with Kambuku on the artisans’ preparedness for the Sadc Summit.

But, he bemoaned lack of coordination between the artisans and the Ministry of Tourism as regards the summit’s preparations.

“We are prepared to advertise Malawi through our handiwork,” said Chisale, adding: “The only problem is that we are doing that on our own as there hasn’t been any interaction with the ministry on our role or how we should conduct ourselves during the period.”

Both Chisale and Kambuku said they would prefer an arrangement that would enable them to bring their work closer to the summit’s venue where the visiting delegates would appreciate and buy.

“Most of our customers buy our artwork in United States dollars, so this could be one way of increasing the inflow of the much needed foreign currency in the country,” said Chisale.

Mana tried to seek views of responsible official from the Ministry of Tourism on the coordination, but without success.

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