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Arts facilitates national healing


Arts can play a critical role in facilitating national healing in a way that partisan political processes cannot do, Rooftop marketing manager Tafadzwa Muzondo has said.
Rooftop Promotions, a theatre management company is currently on a national tour with their plays Waiting for Constitution and Heal the Wounds.
The two productions that contribute to the national healing process will be accompanied by documented responses of audiences through community dialogue in trying to resolve issues that affect them.
He said the plays will encourage communities to begin their own, not “nationalised” processes of healing and reconciliation as well as to participate in the Constitution-making.
Both plays penned by Stephen Chifunyise and directed and produced by Daves Guzha capture Zimbabweans’ thoughts and aspirations. Extensive research was done with varied communities which enabled the writer to capture these yearnings. Muzondo said they have observed that certain key constituencies have been left out in Copac’s outreach programme.
Muzondo said most students in colleges said Copac teams had not visited colleges although students wanted to give input. He said students were the leaders of tomorrow, so leaving them out of such a crucial process was not fair. At Mkoba Teachers College one student said: “College is where we spend most of our time at, so it’s easy for Copac to catch us here instead of trying to make us go to the meeting points.”
Copac meetings have been dogged by confusion and in some areas people have complained that their adverts had no indication of time, while in other cases, the meeting points were in places some people found difficult to access because of distance. After touring Mutare, Masvingo, Midlands and Bulawayo provinces between June 29 and July 12, Rooftop Promotions realised the need for Copac to revisit its outreach strategies.
“We were in Manicaland, Masvingo and Midlands provinces when Copac outreach covered those provinces and observed that many people are being left out because of ignorance or inconvenience,” Muzondo said.
Students from Hillside Teachers’ College in Bulawayo said as future civil servants they needed to be consulted about the new constitution so that they would air their views about the country’s education sector.
“We believe Copac should be able to go and get views from workers in their work stations as labour constitutes an important population of socially responsible and economically active people who spend most of their time at the workplace,” said Muzondo. He said during their tour most workers complained that Copac meetings were usually held during working hours so they were being left out.
So far there have been 52 performances of the plays in Mashonaland East and Central, Harare, Mutare, Masvingo, Midlands and Bulawayo provinces.

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