“Health officials have approved proposals, we just waiting for a political decision from government“
Mbabane: After about seven (7) months of not getting any income there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for artists and the entertainment sector.
This was disclosed by the president of the Eswatini Arts and Music Association (ESWAMA) Lutfo Dlamini, in an interview with this reporter.
Dlamini who is also a member of parliament for Ndzingeni was responding to questions on what the future holds for the artists in Eswatini since the industry has been closed.
Explaining the situation Dlamini said it has been about seven (7) months with no income for artists. He said most artists have lost their income, he said those with loans can’t service them hence they are sinking in debt and are at a risk of getting their assets repossessed or attached.
Dlamini acknowledged the pain the artist were going through after months of uncertainty caused by the corona virus pandemic.
The Arts and entertainment sector was banned since March when the initial lockdown was effected, since then artists were never able to hold shows which is the only way they generate their income. Dlamini said even before lockdown was effected, artists has already cancelled shows which they had spent money on while promoting.
Dlamini said seeing the situation for artists they have held several engagements with stakeholders in the industry trying to find ways to open the arts sector to allow it to operate and to draft new guidelines. He said health officials have approved the proposals looking at the situation on the ground and the rate at which the virus was spreading.
He said they have engaged all stake holder and they have drafted a proposal and wrote to the minister responsible who promised a positive response.
Dlamini said they are just waiting for a political decision from government, which the minister of sports culture and youth affairs has made a promised that good news will be announced soon.
Dlamini said worth noting was there is also a legislation “the copyright act” that was passed to enable artist to get paid royalties, which they look forward to have it operational soon to enable artist to get paid when their music gets played on radio.