‘Arts industry must pay artistes’

OLD Mutual Group chief executive officer, Jonas Mushosho yesterday said there was need to commercialise the country’s arts industry to extract value for stakeholders, as was the case in the developed world.


Speaking at a Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) press conference, Mashosho said the arts and culture industry can only become viable, if stakeholders can get commercial value from it.

“We look forward to a fully commercialised arts industry that is sustainable. In developed parts of the world, the arts sector has become a vibrant industry, which people make mega bucks and some of the richest people come from this industry,” he said.

“Why should our own artists be living from hand to mouth? We believe and hope that as our economy grows and our community evolves, we can live to see the day that the artist is developed to become somebody.”

Old Mutual is among the sponsors of Hifa, an annual arts and culture jamboree, running under the theme We Count at Harare Gardens from May 1 to 6.

“We are counting 18 years of the festival and our partnership with Hifa has been rewarding. We have seen the festival grow to be a world-class diverse arts and culture event, which has provided artistes from different backgrounds a platform to collaborate and rub shoulders with international artistes,” Mashosho said.

Hifa will celebrate Old Mutual Day on May 6 as the festival is wrapped up, with local artistes collaborating with renowned international icons on stage.

Hifa board of trustees chairman, Muchadeyi Masunda, expressed gratitude to the group for throwing its weight behind the arts and culture fete.

This year’s festival has engaged young people, with pupils from schools including Harare International School lined up to perform.

Other performances will be from Vabati VaJehovha, Acrobatic Crew, Senza from Portugal, Freshlyground and comedian Nqoba Ngcobo.

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