The widespread cry by most of Malawian artists has been the industry’s limited power to maximise its income-making avenues and potential.
For decades now the only realistic revenue that the creatives have been assured of is from their gigs or the decimal sales from their productions such as albums and singles. Rarely nothing else. If you don’t organise a show or put out an album, then know you are going will be as tough as they come.
Unlike in countries beyond us and within the region, issues of brand endorsement and ambassadorship have been at a minimum. It has only been as soon as recent that we have seen some movements in that area.
Numbers of Malawian artists who have enjoyed the privilege of earning deals as endorsement partners or ambassadors for some brands and organisations can be counted using the fingers or just off the head.
Yet, this avenue is one that has proved crucial when it comes to multiplying the gains of arts elsewhere. Whether it is all down to the limitations of the power of our economy or failure to realise the power that lies in such partnerships, we don’t know.
But the pull that some personalities command is so vast to be ignored. It is unfortunate that marketers in the corporate world tend to ignore such placements. There is power, influence and figures in many of our entertainers and content creators that need to be put to full use.
Sometimes it is even disappointing that some local brands use foreign images and foreign models in some of their promotional materials and advertising when we have a flooding pool here at home where they can fish from. Gosh!
If we cannot believe and promote what is our own then who will do it for us? We became aware of the foreign models and other prominent faces because their kinsmen back at home gave them a platform where to stand on for the world to see them.
If we can do the same the world out there will also take notice of what we have here. We have potential in the human resource we have and we have unexploited gold in the natural resources we have that can equally prove catchy alongside the content we send out to the world.
It is encouraging that of late we are witnessing some positive change in this area. A number of artists have been signed up as brand faces for several organisations and companies. This is what we have longed for long.
Musicians Eli Njuchi, Patience Namadingo, Onesimus, Keturah and social media influencer Pemphero Mphande are some of the names enjoying deals with entities of good repute as their brand ambassadors. We can only hope for more.
Some belated feedback
A few Fridays back in my entry I reflected on the pronouncement by musician Patience Namadingo where he said he was leaving the country for Zambia because of some perceived criticism being directed at him.
I received some feedback which I hereby reproduce verbatim.
I read your piece and it was well written. You did well to remind Namadingo where he is coming from and the space of managers and Malawians in the Namartists brand. This is what he seems to forget.
Attacks from few people should not affect the larger audience. I like it that you wondered that he is conducting himself this way because the manager is gone.
And now he is out with a song dissing the few people questioning his noise on his doctorate status. I think he needs to be reminded that Lucius Banda, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Wambali Mkandawire, Q Malewezi were also conferred with a similar title.
Lucius opted to be called ‘Sir’ instead. It is only politicians who get carried away by these titles. If he was wise, he wasn’t supposed to be taken away by that vibe. In Malawi, you have to excel from the silent world and people will respect you.
Thank you for the feedback Albert. Please write again.