Malawi musicians against govt’s decision to combine arts industry and heritage

Musicians in Malawi have ganged up and agreed to go against government’s plans to have the Arts Industry and Heritage under one Council.

Rev Chimwemwe Mhango, Martha Mituka and Lulu - Photo by Chris Loka, Nyasa Times
Rev Chimwemwe Mhango, Martha Mituka and Lulu – Photo by Chris Loka, Nyasa Times

The resolution was made at a Musicians Associations of Malawi (MUM) Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Thursday at the Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe where Director of Culture Responsible for Arts and Craft Mr. Mpondaminga was the guest of honour.

This comes at a time when Malawi government through the Ministry of Arts and Culture is working towards the establishment of a council called National Arts and Heritage Council (NAHEC).

MUM President Rev. Chimwemwe Mhango confirmed in an interview with Nyasa Times that indeed they are against the idea.

“Musicians requested government to consider detaching Arts from Heritage. Government is working towards the establishment of National Arts and Heritage Council (NAHEC) but musicians have observed that this is a way of delaying a positive growth and development for the arts since concentration will be on a nu:ber of issues many of which wil be herirage youth,” Mhango explained to Nyasa Times.

Mhango also said that during the AGM, it was also observed that issues of heritage were already been taken care of by the government whi he said has never funded any arts oeganizaton.

“It is therefore awkward to put the two together as one.  It is like puting a baby with the other one already grown up” said Mhango.

The musicians at the indaba also faulted the government for failing to bring sanity in the music indausty by allowing any foreign artist to come in the country without following proper procedures and stipulated policies.

Musicians went fuether to ask the governnment what plans it has for the arts industry and musicians in particular.

Mr. Mpndaminga had tough time to answer the querries leaving the  MUM members unsatisfied hence the need to put their needs on paper and deliver to the government.

“Answers were not satisfactory and the resolution by the AGM to write our needs in details and present official petition demanding proper explanation” said Mhango.

Meanwhile, MUM has also resolved to meet with the Minister responsible with their department for an explanation as to when the Copyright Bill will will be declared operational.

President Peter Mutharika already put consent on the passed Copyright Bill.

The 2016 MUM congress was organised with funding from the Swedish Music Fund (SMF) and over 60 deligates from all the three chapters and other special invited guests took part.

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