Chancellor College (Chanco) students, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (UNIMA) have asked government and the corporate world to take an active role in the promotion of fine arts in the country.
Speaking during the Chanco Fine Art Exhibition held at the campus over the weekend, President of Chanco Fine Arts Students Association, Kenneth Namalomba, said fine art in the country has not progressed due to lack of commitment by stakeholders including government and private companies.
Namalomba, who is doing a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art, said Malawi is losing a lot as it is failing to exploit the hidden treasures from art.
“The essences behind this exhibition is to interact with government officials, private companies, civil society organisations and the public and understand why the art industry is not progressing as compare to other neighbouring countries,” Namalomba explained.
He also observed that there are many Malawians with different skills and talents that are used to their maximum.
“You can agree with me that Malawians have not done enough in as far as the promotion of arts is concerned; as I am talking today, after fifty years of independence Malawi as a country has no any policy on fine art, no national gallery where artists can display their products and even the financial support allocated to the Department of Fine Arts here at Chancellor college is just a mockery,” he added.
But reacting to the assertion, Adventist Development and Relief Aid (ADRA) Malawi Deputy Country Director, Michael Usi, who was the guest of honour to the show, called upon the artists to be creative and develop market strategies that will make customers appreciate their products.
Usi, who is also one of the renowned comedians in the country, said it’s high time for artists in Malawi to stop playing a blame game but instead wake up and develop plans to advertise their skills and talents.
“Artists should not wait for someone to act on their behalf but work on ways of promoting their merchandise on the market,” Usi said.
He explained that art is a very expensive entrepreneurship hence artists have everything to excel in life if they adhere to their strategies.
“You artists in Malawi are not supposed be poor, you are supposed to be doing well because art is an expensive entrepreneurship as it is an in born material and nobody can take out from you,” he said.
He added that artists nowadays have a competitive edge because most of them have gone to school.
“Artists today know what is happening around the world within their door step, so am appealing to you my brothers and sisters that you should not customers to come to you because they don’t know you, so you have to create the impressions which will induce the customers,” he suggested.
During the fair, exhibitors visited the workshop where students demonstrated on how they come up with a finished item.
The fair was organised under the theme ‘The Future of Artists in Malawi’ with the financial support from FDH Bank and ADRA Malawi.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :