Africa-Press – Eswatini. Little to no support from government bodies comes as no surprise to artists and industry players.

This comes after the first quarter performance report for the financial year 2022/23 debate from the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth came back with no discussion about the industry.

This suggests those even elected members of parliament and other decision- makers of the country neglect engaging in conversation to uplift the industry.

Most artists have since distanced themselves from bodies created to help them.

This includes both Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture and SWAMA.

Speaking to a few artists who requested to remain anonymous, ENCAC does not support them as much as they should because the ministry lacks overall support for the industry.

SWAMA President Lutfo Dlamini said it was unfortunate that the ministry did not have the vision and understanding of the potential the industry had.

“The ministry lacks the vision of what this industry is capable of. Hence why we now see most of our artists moving to other countries to pursue their careers in the arts. Uncle Waffles is the perfect example of what the country is capable of but she is out there raising another country’s flag because we failed to support her while she was here,” said Dlamini. He said the ministry did not have the right people in place to ensure that artists were given the correct guidance and support to blossom.

“There are no proper structures to assist these artists in the country. The ministry always complains that they were not getting enough money for the industry but there are many avenues that they are not exploring where they can get and lobby funds for the industry,” said Dlamini.

Dlamini said government did not have enough money for the industry but it was the ministry’s responsibility to get sponsors to help the industry.

Eswatini National Council of Arts and Culture as one of the major bodies created to support the arts and culture industry was one body that artists have lost faith in.

Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Communication Officer Sibongiseni Zondi said the ministry ensured that ENCAC performed its duties accordingly.

“The ministry is in constant contact with the ENCAC to ensure that the entity continues to implement programmes in line with government goals in the arts and culture,” he said.

Zondi added that as a ministry they continue to work together with ENCAC to ensure that ‘we are always improving in our efforts aimed at developing these sectors.’

“The work of the ENCAC is also captured in the ministry’s quarterly reports, which are regularly submitted to Parliament,” he added.

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