President Edgar Lungu to launch Presidential Coral Award Festival for ‘Knowledge Industry’ Government says it will soon launch the Presidential Stimulus Package for the local Artists (Knowledge Industry).
Tourism and Arts Minister Hon Ronald Chitotela has told said in an exclusive interview in Lusaka that President Edgar Lungu also came up with an idea of launching a Presidential Coral Award Festival for local artists both upcoming and existing ones. Hon Chitotela said President Lungu believes in the Art industry as a source of employment and hence the need to create a conducive environment for them to operate.
He said it is for this reason that he recently met the Artists in order to understand their concerns and see how best the government and artists can continue to work together.
“When a child is crying, that is what His Excellency President Dr Edgar Chagwa Lungu told me, don’t beat the child instead go and listen maybe the child is stepping on the thorn. Maybe that is why the child is crying and wants the attention of the father. So as a father, President Lungu has listened to the concerns of the artists and he has given me an instruction on what to do,” he said.
“We had a very cordial meeting with Artists. The main purpose of the meeting was engagement so that we can start sharing ideas and how we can manage the art industry. As you maybe aware, this minister under the able leadership of President Lungu, we are defining Art and we are calling it ‘A Knowledge Industry’. The knowledge Industry is a big business globally. And His Excellency President Lungu has personal interest in making sure that every artist thrives in Zambia. I am under instruction and I have passed this to the National Arts Council of Zambia that we continue to engage artists in Zambian regardless of who they are, what is important and paramount is that we are Zambians.”
Hon Chitotela also refuted claims that there is a standoff between the government and the local artists saying that is not true. He assured the nation that there is a cordial understanding between the state and the local artists.
Speaking in a separate interview with Smart Eagles, Lusaka based Artist Njoya Tembo, popularly known as Njoya Tee, said it is pleasing that the government has embraced dialogue and engagement with Artists saying this will help addressing challenges faced by artists.
Tembo, who is also former Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM) President, said it is gratifying that the artists and government have both agreed to be having meetings every quarter as a way of promoting dialogue saying this will enhance the arts industry.