KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
RENOWNED arts adjudicator Patrick Samwimbila has been elected chairman of the National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC), taking over from Mulenga Kapwepwe who has been at the helm of the arts mother body for over a decade.
Samwimbila is not a name that may be familiar to many artistes but most of them will be happy to see a new name as chairman of NAC after most of them fought to have Mulenga removed.
It has been a long battle involving a call for an arts indaba as well as a petition but none bore any fruit.
They will be hoping that Samwimbila, a teacher, choral music expert and immediate past chairman of the Zambia Adjudicators Panel (ZAP) will bring a different feel and energy to NAC.
Samwimbila beat former NAC director Victor Makashi to the position of NAC chairman during the council’s elections held during the week.
Makashi, who has been an active artiste for at least 40 years, also served as director of the department of arts and culture in the Ministry of Tourism and Arts until his recent retirement.
He has also served on several local and international committees including the Arts Examinations Sub Committee of the Examinations Council of Zambia (ECZ), International Networks for Cultural Diversity (INCD) and the International Federation of Arts Councils and Culture Agencies (IFACCA).
Samwimbila will be deputised by Agness Nyendwa, who is taking over from award-winning director Bright Banda.
To scoop the position, Nyendwa beat Nora Mumba, the renowned writer and librarian, and Patrick “Sauloshi” Salubusa, who is the chairman of the National Association of Media Arts (NAMA).
Sauloshi, who is also an actor and comedian, founded the Zambia Film, Television and Radio Awards (ZAFTAR) during his time as chairman of NAMA.
Other members of the council are Boyd Kaimbi Chibale, who is chairman of the National Theatre Arts Association of Zambia (NATAAZ) and Mwembe Chulu, publicity secretary of the Zambia Association of Musicians (ZAM).