Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development Patricia Kaliati has condemned some festival and event organisers for taking a ‘casual approach’ in the organisation of their activities.
The minister made the remarks at a recent meeting her ministry had with some organisers of festivals and events in the country.
She, specifically, highlighted lack of discipline in terms of keeping time.
Without mentioning names, the minister said: “I appeal for improved organisation and standards for cultural and artistic events. I believe that as part of this meeting, participants will seriously discuss how to improve the organisation and standards for artistic events and cultural festivals. There are a few organisers whose causal approach to business leaves a lot to be desired.
“If organisation is poor and standards are not controlled, the overall outcome of such events will not be in the interest of Government whose obligation is to support the promotion of arts and culture, both as cultural industry and for national heritage.”
Diverting from her prepared speech, the minister attacked some organisers for not keeping time.
“Some events start five hours after the scheduled time. You keep ministry officials waiting and then you wonder why they don’t take you seriously? Don’t hide behind the belief that Malawian fans are always late for events, it’s because you have made them to be like that. They know shows don’t start on time so why go to an event early? If you change your approach, they will follow suit,” said Kaliati.
The minister also took time to acknowledge the growth the cultural sector has registered for the past few years as manifested by the increase in artistic and cultural festivals held each year.
Some of the festivals and event organisers present at the meeting were Kulamba, Sand Festival, Umhlangano wa Maseko, Umthetho, Gonapamuhanya, Urban Music Party, Tumainii Festival and Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF).
Speaking on behalf of the group, BAF director Thom Chibambo called on the corporate world to see the need in sponsoring cultural events.
“There’s potential in the arts sector contributing largely to the country’s economy just like in other countries. That can only happen when the corporate world sponsors events. There has been remarkable success; we should not turn a blind eye to the challenges rocking the artistic and cultural festivals which are organised at national level. The key challenge remains sponsorship,” he said. n