Players in the arts sector have backed National Bank of Malawi (NBM) plc for pumping K40 million partnership with Epic Lounge ahead of its lifestyle music concert featuring popular Nigerian musician Kizz Daniel.
The justification follows reactions by some Malawians on social media who accused the bank of favouring foreign artists.
Art enthusiast and event organiser Sam Chiwaka said considering all the factors at play in organising the event, the value of the artist in question and the marketing returns, the sponsorship is justified.
“Here is an artist with global appeal. He can’t come to Malawi cheaply. As a marketing gimmick, the bank has nailed it because it has managed to create a conversation. We need to change the way we view art,” he said.
But another commentator Wonderful Mkutche said similar support needs to be extended to local artists if the local creative industry is to grow such as in Nigeria and South Africa.
Social media was awash with reactions following the announcement of the partnership with some accusing the local bank of giving ‘too much money’ to a foreign artists when the country has so many sectors in need of help.
Kizz Daniel’s concert is slated for August 27 at Lilongwe Golf Club.
The bank said they want to use the platform to interact with their customers to promote awareness on their new and upgraded services through the concert’s promotional activities scheduled to take place in six districts in the country.
Speaking when he unveiled the sponsorship on Monday at NBM Towers in Blantyre, the bank’s mobile and e-money services manager Enala Chirwa said they want to take advantage of the hype created by the Kizz Daniel concert.
She said:“He is an artist who appeals across generations.
“We expect to have a lot of people present at this concert. We thought we should not be left out into this vibe and get to meet the people in an environment where they are happy and relaxed.”
Chirwa said as a bank, they will provide channels where people can buy tickets to the concert and will run a promotion where people will stand a chance to win standard and VIP tickets to the show.
Epic Lounge director Yollam Kawanga said the sponsorship from NBM plc has enabled them to deliver a music experience that Malawians have never experienced in a long time.
He said the engagement platform that the partnership has created will help create a vibe ahead of the show.
Kawanga said: “This is a beginning of the start of a partnership that we feel will last long. We are excited with the assistance we have received. We plan to have a lot of promotional activities before the concert which will also increase the visibility of the bank.”
Kizz Daniel, real name Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, is known for his globally trending songs Buga, Woju and Yeba. The Nigerian is signed under Fly Boy Inc music label.
The 28-year-old artist has has an award-laden career, having dominated the Nigeria Entertainment awards for years. In 2016, he won the Afro-pop Artist of the Year, in 2015 he was won the Best New Act of the Year and in 2016, he won the Hottest Single of the Year.
He has also won the Headies Award for album of the year in 2016 and City People Music Awards for best collaboration in 2019.
His song Buga, featuring Techno, has attracted huge interest on social media platform Tik-Tok where a competition called BugaChallenge became an instant hit because of its peculiar dance moves when the song was released.