CULTURAL and art guru Stephen Chifunyise has said there is a need for new marketing strategies to sustain the arts sector amid reports that there is low business of artworks.
In an interview with NewsDay, Chifunyise said that most artworks are bought by tourists, but the number of tourists coming into the country has plummeted and thus leading to the prices of the products to also dipping.
“Tourists used to be the main buyers of art products and the number has been reduced and that has led to the prices of artworks to fall,” Chifunyise said.
“Moreso, a number of agencies used to visit Zimbabwe and they would buy artworks from artistes then sell them overseas, but now they are now few.”
Chifunyise highlighted how much the few agencies left racking in at the expense of artistes. The art guru said there is need for stakeholders to come up with a national marketing tool.
“There is the need of a concerted approach by different ministries like the sports, arts and culture ministry, small to medium enterprises, ministry of youth, indigenisation and empowerment, ministry of tourism and the local government ministry to come up with a national marketing strategy,” reiterated the culture enthusiast.
Chifunyise also called for a co-ordinated approach in coming up with the best collection of artworks from the finest artistes for bigger events such as United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly which was successfully held in Zimbabwe last year.
The culture guru said another innovation will be applying for UNESCO to declare the city of Harare as a sculpture city.
“We know Edinburgh is a city of literature and Spain a city of fashion and designing. So it will be worthwhile for Harare to have that status as tourists would know what to expect when they visit,” he said.
“There is the need for the government to look at how to unlock markets for artworks just like how they are concerned with the marketing of the Marange diamonds.”
Most artistes have voiced the low business of art products since the turn of the millennium.
Curio markets, like the one in Mbare, which used to draw tourists are slowly turning into white elephants.