Newly-appointed presidential special adviser on youth and arts Lucius Banda says his appointment demonstrates the new adminstration’s commitment to promoting arts.
The seasoned musician becomes the country’s first presidential adviser on matters affecting the creative sector.He said he is excited to contribute to the push to transform the local creative industry through his vast experience.
In an interview, Banda, known as Soldier in the music circles, said he feels honoured that president Lazarus Chakwera has dedicated an office to oversee issues affecting artists.
Banda said: “I am very excited that I have been appointed to this role because of my background as an artist. Time has come for artists to shine. Time has come for artists to strive to reach new career goals.
“We should be thinking beyond being an artist. Let us look at ways we can grow beyond arts so that we can employ other people using the talent and skills we have. We need to promote and market our brands and I am an example in that aspect.”
The musician said one of his immediate tasks will be to engage the leadership to help the industry hit hard by the Coronavirus pandemic. He said it is important to find ways of cushioning them from the harsh effects of the Coronavirus emergency.
“The issue of artists’ welfare is paramount. We are in a period when artists have stayed over six months without performing because of the pandemic. Some are literally going to bed on an empty stomach. We need to quickly find solutions to that,” he said.
Sean Kampondeni, State House director of communication and executive assistant to the President said the President is trying to correct the anomaly that has been there as there was lack of representation from the sector.
“The President recognises that many young people are actively involved in the informal sector as artisans, but they lack representation of their needs and concerns before the President,” he said.
The news of Banda’s appointment at the weekend attracted several congratulatory messages on his Facebook page.