The Association of Musicians of Malawi (MAM) has applied to the National Economic Enterprise Fund (NEEF) to provide loans to musicians to enable them to start small and medium enterprises.
MAM Board Chairman Wycliffe Chimwendo said it would help improve the livelihoods of musicians in this time of Covid -19.
Chimwendo was speaking in Lilongwe this weekend at the NEEF sensitization meeting.
During the meeting, hosted by NEEF, musicians were trained on the processes they can follow to access NEEF loans and how to repay them.
Chimwendo revealed that, like many other industries, Covid-19 has hit the music industry so hard, not least because of restrictions that limit sponsorship of music concerts to 200 people.
“As you may know, current Covid-19 guidelines limit outdoor gatherings to very few people. Now our work for us as musicians depends on large gatherings. It really touched us,” he said.
Chimwendo then asked NEEF management to provide loans to musicians while urging musicians to repay the loans once secured.
MAM president Gloria Kampingo Manong’a said that apart from being blessed with musical talent, most musicians also boast extensive business skills.
Manong’a cited musicians who are also into carpentry and carpentry, baking, among others.
NEEF Board Chair Jephta Mtema challenged musicians to use the loans to get started in small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“MSMEs hold the key to the growth of this economy and are best placed to achieve the government’s goal of creating one million jobs. The more business they do, the better the prospects for their businesses to grow to create more jobs,” Mtema said.
During the meeting, the Arts Director of the Ministry of Tourism, Humphrey Mpondaminga, said the government appreciates the role the music industry is playing in promoting tourism in the country.
Mpondaminga said the 2015 National Cultural Policy encourages the government to invest a lot in the music industry to keep the industry vibrant.
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