By ALICE NACHILEMBE
Information and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Amos Malupenga has urged artists to use their talent to unify the country as opposed to creating tension and divisions among citizens.
Mr Malupenga said as the country heads towards the general elections slated for August next year, artists will be expected to play a leading role in unifying the country.
He was speaking when he witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Komboni Talent Hub and Eden University for the production of a film entitled ‘Luapula’ aimedat promoting the spirit of One Zambia, One Nation.
Mr Malupenga said artists should guard themselves against being used to divide the nation through their artistic works.
He said during elections politicians always want to use artists to get their messages across but that sometimes such messages are unpalatable and have potential to create disharmony among citizens and political players.
Mr Malupenga said artist should not allow themselves to be lured into producing abusive and disrespectful content.
“Some messages are so inciting and disrespectful to leaders both in the ruling party and opposition political parties. Let us guard against this temptation because these leaders, in whatever capacity are chosen by God,” he said.
He said there is need for artists to be mindful on the need to consider the one Zambia, One Nation motto in conveying different ideas and messages especially during election campaigns.
And Komboni Talent Hub producer Patrick Salubusa said filmmakers have a critical role to play during next year’s elections by producing content that promotes national unity.
He said the ‘Luapula’ is meant to promote co-existence and unity among citizens and will emphasise on the fact that despite having different political persuasions, it is still possible to leave together in peace and unity.
And speaking at the same event, Eden University Chief Executive Officer Kelvin Kaunda said the country is in desperate need of men and women who are ready to be creative and innovative in all spheres including the film industry.
He said the University is ready to support individuals with creative minds to enhance the film industry in the country.
Mr Kaunda has since pledged a sum of K100, 000 towards the production of ‘Luapula’.
And National Association of Media Arts (NAMA) president Lottie Siame said the country is at a time when people are hungry for local content.
Mr Siame appealed to the corporate world to seriously consider taking a chance on the local film industry by sponsoring productions done by local producers.