GONE are the days when a local artist had no access to a pension fund. Now they are being encouraged to join the LAPF Pensions Fund.
The group's Compliance Officer for their Eastern Zone, Emmanuel Meishaa, made this clear when he addressed artistes last week, at the Jukwa la Sanaa platform of the National Arts Council (BASATA), for the first time.
He had come to inform artistes about social security and how they could put aside savings for when they are less active and other reasons like being find themselves in need of maternity leave or funeral grants. "We at LAPF want to extend coverage of social security throughout the country.
You know presently such coverage only applies to six per cent of the population, which excludes artistes. We want to rectify this situation. There are many people who are left outside, of which the bulk of them are in the informal section," Meishaa told the 'Daily News' after his presentation.
This informal sector, he added also includes people like 'Mama Lishe' and 'Boda Boda' together with artistes, who they started working with last June. They plan to move onto other groups within this category like those mentioned above at a later date.
Last October they had a seminar for musicians at their LAPF offices, where they got a good response. He was also very pleased with the response he got from artistes at the Arts Council, where many of those present took enrolment forms. This is a thing the artistes present said they wanted but because of the freelance nature of their employment no one took them seriously.
Performing Artist and Assistant Treasurer for the Tanzania Association of Performing Artistes (CHASAMATA), Hilda Malecela was very interested in this pension scheme. She said that usually such groups are not opened to artistes because of them not being connected to a larger association.
She took two a forms, one for herself and the other for her husband. "I will talk to my husband and encourage him to join. I know where we have some pictures at home so will offer to handle all the necessary payments because I know this will be beneficial for our children," she said.
In line with the new drive to formalise the footing of local artistes yesterday it was the turn of the Chairman of the Saving and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACOS) Sherehe Arts Association (SAA), Emmanuel Urembo, to address artistes at the Jukwa la Sanaa.
He had come to inform them of the availability for them to join the association so that they could have access to a place where they can put their savings and get loans when required.