By Alick Junior Sichali
Artist who performed at Blantyre Arts Festival (BAF) have expressed worries over poor turnout of people who participated at the event.
One of the actors from Youth Directors Council Theater (YCD), Mwai Kazandira, made the sentiments yesterday, Sunday during the closure of this year’s BAF.
Kazandira said the patronage was not good, a thing which he said it can affect them as they work in disseminating developmental information and that of people’s culture.
He said if artists in the country are not given the support needed it will pull back interest of upcoming youths who wants to join the industry.
“This year’s Blantyre Arts Festival was not that great, am saying this because the event lacked a good patronage. The audience was full with artist watching fellow artist performing at the stage a thing which is bad,” Kazandira said.
According to Kazandira organizers of the event need to put strategies which will make a lot of people to be interested to participate at the event.
The Actor said apart from working hard on advertising the event, there is a need of introducing a unique package each and every year which among others should involve audience participation.
“The organizers of this event need to work more on advertising; they should at least start 2 or 3 months advertising from the actual date of the event. Apart from that they should involve several partners who they can work with so that the goal of BAF is achieved,” explained Kazandira.
Spokesperson of BAF, Lukia Chikopa, said this year’s event was packed with interesting performances despite poor turnout.
Chikopa said they will be working on both positive and negative sides they have experienced at this year’s BAF and promised that next year’s event will be great.
She said each year they are making strides as they introduce new things at each year’s BAF.
“From 2009 where we had the first Blantyre Arts Festival to date we can say we are happy with how we have been moving. We have been recording positive things and also giving the people unique things, for instant this year we had workshops we artists were being trained,” Chikopa said.
She further said that BAF is committed in uplifting the welfare of artists and that they will continue supporting them so that they benefit from their talent and skills.
This year’s BAF was spiced up with performances by Black Missionaries, Makatumbe Band from Germany, Ethel Kamwendo Banda, Prince Chitsulo, Young Directors Council Theater (YCD), and Raphael Sitima among others.