Some artists have asked the newly-appointed Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Michael Usi to pay attention to the needs of the sector.
They want him to address the absence of the Arts Council and deal with piracy which make artists poor.
Reacting to the appointment, gospel rap artist KBG says issues of royalties, copyright, patents and protection of art and artists must be a priority for the new minister.
He said: “We need to benefit from our work and I believe that Usi understands how the arts have not been able to benefit a lot of people such as Gidess Chalamanda.
“We need to develop or build conducive spaces where artists can do events like how other countries do. Again, we need jobs that are to do with creatives, journalists, producers and content creators and these should have a standardised pay.”
Filmmaker Lameck Luhanga is interested in seeing Usi leading government in creating jobs using the arts, especially the film industry.
“The one million jobs promised can start from the film industry by first, creating a Film Commission which, apart from creating jobs, will also drive both our tourism and economy.
“More jobs would be created if we provide a room for international or Hollywood filmmakers to come and shoot in Malawi as we have a lot of good film locations,” he said.
On her part, Africa Fashion and Arts Festival founder Lorraine Kljajic believes the minister needs to learn from other countries in the region on how they have managed to build a sustainable arts industry.
She said: “It is awesome that someone with advanced experience in the theatrical arts has been appointed.
“With that we hope he implements policies that will empower the creative industries which encompasses a lot of youths.”
Kljajic said Usi also needs to look at countries such asSouth Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland wheregovernment sponsors the creatives to participate in international events.
When contacted for comment, Usi said he will speak after being sworn.
Popularly known as Manganya because of his comedy character, Usi, a professional development worker, has been a comedian, movie actor and playwright for the past 20 years.