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By Terence Miselo

The National Arts Council (NAC) has declared 2019 as the year of the arts in which the country will witness a celebration and promotion of local arts.

This was revealed by NAC chairperson Patrick Samwimbila during a media briefing to mark 25 years of NAC existence , held at Lusaka’s Hilton Garden Inn Hotel on Tuesday morning.

The occasion was attended by several dignitaries in the arts and tourism sector and was graced by Reverend Dr. Howard Sikwela, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Arts and Tourism.

Mr Samwimbila informed the media that NAC wants to reflect on its journey, create means for investments in the arts and create visibility.

“We have decided to theme 2019-year of the arts, ‘celebrating and investing in the arts’ because we want to reflect on our journey,” he said.

“If you look at all the aspects of our arts, visual, dance, film, theatre, crafts, fashion, music, for each of these, there is so much to celebrate. What we are also saying in terms of the theme is that we are extending an invitation to all to come and invest in our arts.”

To this effect, the chairperson unveiled a calendar of events dedicated to the arts among them the re-introduction of the ‘Ngoma Awards’ and the celebration of our heroes in various provinces.

In addition, speaking at the same occasion Rev. Sikwela appealed to Zambians to support the arts and promote local events.

“The celebrating and investing in arts in Zambia is an urgent and present need. We celebrate and at the same time, we invest in these arts. We need to shift the role of the arts and acknowledge the importance of creativity in the social and economic lives. Celebrating the arts will enable us to recognise and award those that have continued to work hard so that they maintain their positions through and through,” said Rev. Sikwela.

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