A new board running affairs at the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), is currently on a national tour to determine the status of the industry ravaged by setbacks during the Covid-19 pandemic leaving most artistes almost destitute due to restrictions during that period, Nhau/Indaba reveals.
Dubbed “State of the Arts tour”, the fact finding mission began it’s tour Tuesday and is expected to traverse the country over the next three months for a feedback and communication process with stakeholders within the sector according to NACZ board chairperson Dr Nozipho Maraire.
Already, consultations were held at Rimuka Hall in Kadoma, Mashonaland West on Tuesday as well as in Marondera, Mashonaland East province yesterday (Thursday), where artistes called for increased capacitation to revamp their activities in the post COVID-19 period.
“We as the new board of the NACZ want to hear from artistes, and arts managers and together find ways to support our creatives. We look forward to fruitful and interactive discussions,” she said.
Dr. Maraire said NACZ is committed to supporting the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in Zimbabwe and is pushing the sector to the forefront of national prominence.
“We are grateful to artistes who give us our pride and identity as Zimbabweans and we look forward to joining them in the different meetings across the country”, she said.
Addressing participants, NACZ deputy chairperson Marcus Gora said the main objective of the tour was to find out how stakeholders in the sector were operating.
“We want to know who is in the sector. What do they do? Where do they do it? How do they do it? And what are the challenges that they face? This will then inform our actions as the board to respond to the needs of the sector in whatever we do,” Gora said.
During presentations, creatives who included artists, promoters, producers, leaders of arts associations, academics and managers bemoaned the impact of COVID-19 on their operations and called on the NACZ and government to provide them with appropriate assistance to re-establish their operations.
NACZ was urged to organise workshops across the country’s provinces and districts to equip practitioners with digital skills on how to market and sell their works online to generate revenue.
Ninga Dzenharira Mbira Group leader, Lioness Shumbakadzi lamented the paltry registration fees that the NACZ charged groups, associations and promoters citing that the fees heavily impacted on its service delivery.
“We want you to review the registration fees that you have pegged in RTGS. Sadly, artistes pay up to US$30 to join associations and yet NACZ requires less than US$1 for one to be registered. This has to be corrected,” she said.
The participants called for the establishment of a one government regulator to deal with operations by artistes as there were now too many entities that they deal with often causing chaos and confusion.
Next week the entourage will be in Bulawayo and Matabeleland North provinces.
In April, artistes in Harare, Masvingo, and Matabeleland South will be heard while the last leg will see meetings being hosted in Manicaland, Midlands and Mashonaland Central provinces in May. Nhau/Indaba