The Photographers Association of Malawi (PHOTAMA), in an effort to address the leadership and business management skills gap, is training its leadership from various committees on good leadership and how to appropriately run their photography businesses.
PHOTAMA Board Chairman Dick Mlazie said so far the association has trained in the country’s three regions over 50 leaders from the National Executive Committee (NEC), regional committees and other sub committees such as welfare, fundraising and discipline.
“Our hope is that at the end of these trainings our leaders from various committees within the association will have been equipped with the skills and proven ideas that will perfect their existing skills to become effective leaders,” Mlazie said.
He observed the training would enable the leaders to spearhead the association with competence while at the same time acquire rich knowledge on how best to nurture their photographic business into a lucrative enterprise.
The Board Chair, however, expressed concern over most Malawians attitude who look down upon photography as an important business venture with potential to turn around people’s financial outlook.
“It’s a sad situation to see many Malawians viewing photography as an informal job and not as a viable business endeavor. But I can dare you that there is gold in photography business,” challenged Mlazie, a photojournalist who has taken pictures for over 40 years while working for Nation Publications Limited and Blantyre Newspapers Limited and Malawi’s three former Presidents- late Dr Kamuzu Banda, Dr Bakili Muluzi and late Prof Bingu wa Mutharika.
He also said the training was made possible, with funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy through the Cultural Support Scheme administered by the Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA).
PHOTAMA is an umbrella body of Malawian photographers and was established in 1998 to promote that art of photography in the country. Currently it has a membership of over 400 photographers.
For the past 15 years, PHOTAMA has held various training workshops in digital photography, business and marketing skills, women in photography, technical skills development, copyright and piracy, ICT use, electronic news gathering and editing, TV documentary, Photography and HIV/AIDS, among others.
The association has also managed to send photographers to attend training workshops and meetings abroad like in Sweden, Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana and Germany.