Government says its recent approval of the National Film Policy will create jobs for youths in the country.
Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale says the unemployed youths especially could start earning a living by acting or by engaging in visual arts, as this was part of service provision to the country.
He said with the National Film Policy in place, it was time to identify and groom local talent; adding that diploma and degree programs in creative art should be introduced so that interested prospective artists could be formally trained.
He said this when Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) Director General Richard Mwanza paid a courtesy call on him in Livingstone , yesterday.
He commended the national broadcaster for engaging the Southern Province administration for possible partnership to generate local content.
“I am grateful you are engaging my administration on the National Film Policy. Firstly, Southern Province has a lot to offer in as far as your entertainment and education components are concerned,” he said.
The Provincial Minister was confident ZNBC would be instrumental in exposing talent unique to Southern Province, to the rest of the country.
And Dr Hamukale urged the public to desist from perceiving art as something that lowers one’s character.
“There has been a tendency to think people who act or are artistic have no dignity. Here I am, a Minister; I have not lost it; I am still a lecturer at university. Just because I am a musician does not take away my other achievements – I am a dignified citizen,” he said.
Speaking earlier, ZNBC Director General Richard Mwanza said implementation of the National Film Policy would not just generate local content but programs that could be exported to other countries in the region.
Mr. Mwanza however, said the development meant there was a lot of work ahead of ZNBC to have enough content for the digital platform.
“Now we more than 40 channels; 16 of which are local channels and the rest are international channels and these are 24 hour channels. We are saying we are going to run these continuously for 24 hours which means we are going to need a lot of content,” he said.
Mr. Mwanza said Southern Province had a lot of historical sites which ZNBC needed to document in the form of drama, series and other formats for future generations.
“From the biblical point of view you’ll find that there are films about Moses in the wilderness, why can’t we do the same here in Zambia? We need to preserve our culture. As ZNBC we want to collaborate with people in your area to produce local content,” he said.