Officials say arts remain on the periphery

Officials say arts remain on the periphery

In a panel discussion on the impact of the Coronavirus on the arts at the COVID-19 Communication Centre, officials said Namibian arts have been decimated by the pandemic.
Deputy Director of Arts in the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, M'kariko Amagulo said US$7 billion have been lost worldwide and millions of jobs have been lost.
She said the Namibian Government is the single biggest contributor to the arts industry.
Amagulo said Namibia needs to support the sector as public gatherings might not happen for a long time post-pandemic.
Patrick Sam, the Chairperson of the National Arts Council said COVID-19 made us prioritise the saving of lives instead of making of money.
"We can't have a sector if we don't have people," he said.
The cancellation of the Namibia Annual Music Awards (NAMAs) and other events have had a knock-on impact on the arts and those making a living from it, said Sam.
Marinda Stein of the Namibia Film Commission (NFC) said that the film industry has also been hard hit.
She said 97% of the film industry indicated that they have been negatively impacted.
The film industry is closely linked to the tourism industry, which is also adversely affected, and makes use of a lot of freelancers, she said.
John Eino Max, chief executive officer (CEO) of the Namibian Society of Composers and Authors of Music (NASCAM) appealed to NBC to play at least 70% of local content. He said private stations should play 50% local content.
According to Max, this would help musicians earn an income from their art as artists need relief.
NASCAM has over 7 500 Namibian members.