The Copyright Society of Malawi (COSOMA) has encouraged artists in the country to embrace technology and start selling their products online.
Speaking during a training on arts SACCO and artistic production and online marketing support project in Lilongwe on Monday, Shadreck Kumtengo a Project Coordinator for Integrated Arts projects from COSOMA, said it is high time for artists in the country to broaden their talent through online marketing, as the world is now in a digital era.
He said the creative industry has been left behind in terms of international markets, due to a lack of descent platforms such as good marketplace, and online marketing is the only way that can help artists to reach beyond borders.
He further said as COSOMA they will continue to assist artists to improve their artistic works.
“This project will help the creatives to benefit from online marketing. It is also going to be a linking zone to the buyers, without a hustle in managing any transaction through the Arts Production and Marketing Corporation (APMC),” he said.
Kumtengo added that the digital products will still be in the custody of the project until there will be orders, and nobody can tamper with the project.
On his part, Tony Makunganya, Project Manager for culture, at the Malawi National Commission for UNESCO, who is also funding the online project, said they are supporting the online project and they would want the Malawi government to implement the cultural policy that will assist artists by improving their economic status.
“Our main interest is to see Malawian artists benefiting through online marketing. We are therefore encouraging artists to sell their products online. It is our hope that people will have good products online,” he said.
However, Paul Banda who is a SACCO Manager for arts SACCO, said the online marketing will also require funds and they need to advance their businesses, and the doors are open for loans.
“As the management, we observed that there is an information gap mainly in the financial literacy, and we will continue encouraging the artists on how to save, and how they can easily get the loans,” he said.
He further said SACCO is just complementing the access to finance for the artists.
Furthermore, Regina Sitolo who is an upcycling artist, and also a teacher from Likuni Boys, said art can contribute a lot as it carries messages to the mass, and she has found something unique that will sell her products online.
“Before the online platform, I have been finding difficulties in selling my products, since I am doing something new, since I am taking the waste and making them be the decorating materials, and it is my belief that my products will reach beyond our borders,” she said.
COSOMA has over 10,500 individual members, mostly musicians, and 11 rights holder association members.
The project has spent around MK 12 Million Kwacha and it has firstly targeted 20 artists, as it is in the first phase, and currently, it is in the second year.
The training attracted filmmakers, handcrafts, and carvings, as well as woodwork.