In my little world as someone working on the arts and entertainment desk, I have come to appreciate creatives better in some rather intimate way.
Through my interactions with them over the years, my eyes have been opened up to how they operate, the personal side of their life and I have also come to appreciate the challenges they face in their everyday professional lives.
My awareness on what they are and the closeness to this group has made me to almost feel like one of them. That is why whenever there is need for someone to speak up on some injustices that they are facing, I am always ready to stick my finger right in there. They are my family.
In my last entry I talked about their not being counted to be part of the huge coronavirus pandemic response package bowl. That is why when time came last week to prepare my entry after some brainstorming, I went back to my editor Edith and told her I am not submitting a new entry for the week.
She asked me the reason. Well, I already had it up my sleeve. I told her the issues raised in the last column remain heavy and relevant. Let us give everyone related to them a chance to read and ask themselves the hard questions. I suggested we run it again in case somebody missed it the previous week.
I was supposed to be returning a happy person to report to the readership here that the concerns as raised in the last two weeks have met a positive reaction and this is where we are now. But I have come back more disappointed.
After dismissing reports that members of the Special Cabinet committee on Covid-19 are pocketing allowances for the activities they are undertaking, it has come to light that they are receiving K450 000 as a risk token. Unbelievable.
But look this side, till today no single creative has been engaged to do some creative content in response to this pandemic. No single artist has been made a champion of this campaign. No one has come forward with a token of appreciation to the numerous artists that have spared their resources and time to create something on Covid-19.
Imagine if the K450 000 was set aside as a token for every artist who comes up with something along the lines of Covid-19 awareness creation. It would have been a big push in their time of greatest need as live performances remain suspended.
I reserve my huge respect to artists who continue to shame the people who are responsible for the local Covid-19 response by coming up with poems, stories, songs and documentaries carrying messages on the pandemic.
Last week, a group of musicians led by Kell Kay and Dorothy Shonga released a song Tigonjetse Corona in a project which swallowed a whopping K3 million to produce the audio and video for the song. That is a huge sacrifice on any day.
Comedian Tannah alias Mr Broken English also joined forces with other known names in the creative industry such as film maker Joyce Mhango- Chavula, comedian Nya Uyu, DJ Maya and musician Mwanache to produce a very beautiful short film on Covid-19.
Veteran music artist Ben Mankhamba has also been busy in his Lilongwe rural east home by holding self-financed awareness campaigns on the disease. He has also been collaborating with local organisations in making and distribution of face masks.
The list of musicians who have released a song or two on the global pandemic is growing every day. They include urban artist Piksy, Wikise, Skeffa Chimoto, Phyzix, CoolPro Empresses, Black Missionaries and Patience Namadingo.
As creatives let us not tire in making our contributions to this cause even though others have chosen to look away at what we can bring on the table to aid this fight. This battle is for us all to fight and it is for us all to win. Let us all pitch in and get counted and shame them.n