ZIMBABWE should take a leaf from countries like the United States where arts receive sponsorship and attention from the government.
Report by Own Correspondent
This was said by a local sculptor Victor Nyakauru during a Small Works Exhibition held at National Gallery of Zimbabwe, in Harare, recently.
He said the government should take the arts industry seriously as it had become a form of employment to many youths in the country.
Nyakauru, who specialises in stone curving and metal work, said it was high time the government gave priority to arts development.
“As artists we are saying government should invest in arts just like they do in sports and other sectors because art has a capacity to create employment for youths,” said Nyakauru.
“The government should bankroll exhibitions and its officials should fully participate in the activities as a strategy to raise awareness to the public and other partners on how critical arts industry is in national development.”
Nyakauru was in the United States for an arts exhibition recently. He said although a number of youths had shown interest in the arts industry, lack of sound sponsorship had impacted negatively on their efforts to showcase to their talent.
“The government, through private partnerships should facilitate for the construction of facilities for the training and promotion of arts in the country.
Nyakauru, who won the 2008 National Arts Merit Award for his outstanding work, said he was inspired by the way other countries supported arts.
“I was in the US and I was inspired by the way how the arts industry is being supported and managed. People and organisations abroad support the arts industry. Our products are selling well in the US yet we are supposed to be appreciated back home.”
Nyakauru said one piece of his sculpture work was bought for $500, while other pieces were sold for $1 200.
“People in other countries appreciate art and there is need for local people to do the same,” he said. The Chitungwiza-born artist joined the arts industry in 1995 specialising in paintings. In 2005, he enrolled for a three-year course at National Art Gallery.
Today, he continues to inspire other upcoming artists through voluntary work at the gallery.