Renowned reggae artist Limbani Banda has expressed the need to improve the welfare and social protection of musicians in the country.
As if vindicating the message in his song Chisoni N’kumatenda, Limbani alias Lambanie Tosh Lion Dube bemoaned local musicians’ desperate situation.
He said most musicians are attended to when they fall sick and in need of medical support.
Said Lambanie: “Imagine, a world without music to heal the broken hearts and speak for the voiceless?
“Imagine, a world without music to bring peace and happiness in broken homes? Music plays a huge role in our society yet musicians continue to be reduced to beggars.
“I would like to appeal to government to revisit its programmes on promoting and protecting musicians in the country. Otherwise, musicians’ welfare leaves a lot to be desired.”
He said businesses, political campaigns and many other things rely on music to flourish. Yet companies and politicians commit less investment to develop the music sector
Said Limbanie: “For a long time, musicians have suffered due to lack of effective programmes to safeguard talents and provide social protection. As a result, musicians are always looked upon as beggars. For example, when musicians fall sick, they beg for support from the public because there are no functioning systems to effectively safeguard their welfare and protect their work.”
He urged companies and politicians to invest in the music industry.
Limbanie said Covid has worsened musicians’ socio-economic status.
Due to the pandemic, musicians cannot hold shows resulting in loss of revenue.
This has caused government to establish the Socio-Economic Recovery Plan to provide safety nets to those who have been left destitute due to the pandemic.
The plan, to run from 2021 to 2023, aims to cushion the impact of the pandemic by providing and scaling up of fiscal and monetary stimulus towards productive sectors such as the creative industry which have been affected by Covid, according to Minister of Tourism and Culture Michael Usi.
Said Usi: “There is no need to panic because the recovery plan will target industries such as the hospitality and service sector, creative industry, small and medium enterprises.
“This will, in fact, be the key focus of government through the Ministry of Finance and the Reserve Bank throughout the recovery period.”
Adding his weight, gospel musician Lloyd Phiri pleaded for transparency when bailing out the creative industry.