PF NATIONAL youth chairman Kelvin Sampa says his recent meeting with some local artists was not political, but rather aimed at discussing the challenges that most artists were facing.

In an interview Sampa said under the COVID-19 pandemic, artists were facing financial difficulties as most entertainment programs were halted.

“Is there anything wrong for me to meet the artists? They are human beings just like me, there is life after politics. So we can’t be politiking every now and then, we must also look at their needs and what makes them exist. Right now, most of the entertainment places have been shut and we all know how musicians make their money, it’s through the gigs that they make. So for me, I understand right now they don’t have a source of income so how best can we help them with an immediate attention that at least, they can have something. So, those are the issues that were discussed. So, why should it be now that even when I go to meet artists it becomes a topical matter for everyone to be concerned? It is like I am meeting another ordinary person. I always go to the market and meet people, why don’t people ask to say what was he doing in the markets? What was the whole purpose of visiting people in the market?” Sampa asked.

“For me, it is all about engaging. I want to hear from them because sometimes you may be thinking that you are doing the right things without realising that what you are doing is not helping your own youths. They themselves must come out and say what they feel, [what] they want and what they expect out of us as government. So the meeting was all about engaging and asking them what is it that they feel government should do because again, we can’t just sit at home and expect government to bring money for you at home and say’ yes this is my right’, no! People must work, people must be innovative, so that they can create jobs on their own. It is quite competitive right now to say I have gone to school, I have done this, now I am looking for employment. But there are a lot of people that are graduating today and these jobs have become competitive. So you can’t say that government should find opportunities for everybody, it is the youths to try and create an opportunity themselves.”

He said youths should not to be used to drive a negative agenda by protesting.

“Our young people must know what they really want and to start saying freedom of speech is what they really want, I think Zambia has always practiced human rights and there is nothing different that has happened. We have had a lot of people singing songs to express themselves, people have said things to express themselves, no one has ever been infringed. There is nothing wrong with protesting, for me I am one person who advocates for expression of rights. There is nothing wrong but it is the content that might be used. What is so different with you engaging with whoever you want to address? What is so difficult with writing a letter and doing whatsoever? Because right now we have an issue of the COVID that is going on so other people might end up getting exposed to things that they shouldn’t have. At the end of it all, it will be government they will be crying to,” said Sampa.

“So, let us be responsible with whatever we are doing, not to be used by people who just want to drive an agenda. We are not in that tension where we should be jumping on the streets and we can’t find an amicable way of resolving these issues. Whatever it is, the extortion that our young people are talking about can be addressed in-house. Have they ever gone to the Ministry of Youth and Sports to go and find out what is happening? Have they engaged me as the national youth chairperson? So those are the questions we should be asking. So what is so special about going to the streets when you have not targeted the people that can listen to you and also help to sort out your concerns? So those are issues that we should be asking ourselves, so whose interest are they doing these things? Is it they themselves or if there is an agenda from another political party or somebody hidden somewhere?”