Musicians Association of Malawi has said the grouping will use the capacity building workshop currently underway in Blantyre to benefit the country’s musicians.
The meeting also aims at finalising a draft constitution which, if adopted, will see the association turn into a union.
The association, in conjunction with the Federation of International Musicians (FIM), on Saturday commenced a four day capacity building workshop that will enable Malawi’s musicians to share notes with their counterparts from Sweden, France, South Africa and Sierra Leone on how to operate effectively as a union.
“This meeting is of paramount importance to us as it is where we will also be drafting a final copy of our constitution that will take us close to turning into a union and if we do a good job on this, we will be registered as a union just like many of our counterparts elsewhere.
“We have collaborated with our counterparts from FIM who are well vested with knowledge on how a union operates and hopefully they will be of great relevance to us as we seek to turn into a union,” said the association’s president Reverend Chimwemwe Mhango.
Led by Thomas Dian, FIM is well connected across the globe with various musicians and its officials have what it takes to positively influence change in how Malawian musicians can approach various music related issues, Mhango noted.
He said association members, who have been drawn from all the four regional chapters, will in addition to sharing music art best practices, be drilled on how they can lobby for funding to respective group activities.
The workshop, which will end on Tuesday, will also build musician’s capacity on issues of good governance, financial management and the association’s growth among others.
According to Mhango, turning the music body into a union would instill a sense of respect into music as career and employment hence musicians attaining the respect they deserve.
He cited that it will also help in linking the association to other trade unions so that they speak with one voice, legitimatise relations with foreign unions who can also fund MAM projects in addition to reducing musician exploitation.