Arts sector funding segmented: NACZ

NATIONAL Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Elvas Mari says poor co-ordination and segmentation has negatively affected the funding model of the local arts sector.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of a handover ceremony of mobile phones to last year’s National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) winners, Mari said: “The funding of the arts sector in Zimbabwe has been segmented and there is no co-ordinated way of supporting the sector.

“We need to bring funders in a co-ordinated way and if we do it in such a way, will be like those countries that we admire.”
Meanwhile, Northern region Nama winners received GTEL model A706i phones at Book Café in Harare as additional prizes after the awards organisers entered into a partnership with GTEL a local mobile manufacture.

This was the second phase of the handover ceremony after a similar ceremony was held last week at Zimbabwe International Trade Fair in Bulawayo, where Southern region winners received their prizes.

Commenting on their partnership with GTEL, Mari said they were proud and honoured to have the mobile company on board.
“We strategically chose our partners and with GTEL we are saying since we have diverse winners, we had to find a gadget that can be used across the board by our artistes,” Mari said.

“With these phones we are making a statement to our artistes that as we are in an information and communications technology era, they have to possess gadgets that help them embrace their work.”

Zimbabwe arts industry has for long time lacked funding despite having a lot of talent.

A number of agencies — Hivos, British Council, Alliance Française, Zimbabwe German Society, American Public Affairs and European Union, among others, are the few organisations that have supported arts and culture.

There have been calls by artistes for banks to create products for them to access loans that would help them in developing their careers and improve quality of arts in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s arts sector has always been under heavy scrutiny as local players in the sector are on the record saying they were working against progress.

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