HomeNewsCultural indaba opens in Harare

Cultural indaba opens in Harare



TOP African American scholar and professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, Molefi Kete Asante, yesterday officially opened the International Conference on African Cultures at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare with a challenge to Africans to reclaim their history.

Asante said African academics should produce their own work rather than rely on the voices of foreigners who destroyed Africa’s creativity, adding that Africans had a more “historically intimate connection” with their environment than any other race.

“African historians must dare the African natives,” Asante said, stressing the need for Africans to be fully conversant with their history.

The first creation of stories, he said, started in Africa.

Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the conference, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director, Elvas Mari hailed the National Gallery of Zimbabwe for hosting the conference.

“It is an opportunity for us and make a statement that the conference is not only going to be just a network of ideas and knowledge sharing but also about the economy because art and culture is serious business,” he said.

Ahead of the conference, NGZ chief curator, Raphael Chikukwa, said the conference was an opportunity to deliberate important cultural matters.

“This is an opportunity for us to deliberate on the matters that affect the cultural sector, the contemporary art sector and the whole cultural issues pertaining to Africa and mapping the future of the culture industry of this continent,” he said.

He said “bare foot professors” attending the conference will also help young scholars understand Afro-centric perspectives on art.

“Our own perspectives are very important. The young will be helped by bare foot professors, who are our grandparents. Their knowledge informs our thinking,” he said.

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