INDEPENDENT electoral watchdog, Election Resource Centre (ERC), has described artistes as key players in disseminating election-related messages through their various acts, which include music and theatre.
BY WINSTONE ANTONIO
ERC executive director Tawanda Chimhini told NewsDay Life & Style on the sidelines of the Get Out & Vote campaign launch in Epworth on Saturday that artistes were important in society as they carried messages to their audiences.
The event was headlined by multi-award winning dancehall singer, Winky D.
The Get Out & Vote awareness campaign is meant to encourage, educate and mobilise citizens to participate in electoral processes ahead of the forthcoming elections scheduled for July 30.
“When artistes communicate, they are listened to, they represent the citizen. So artistes are essential for conveying powerful messages across different disciplines,” he said.
“Our partnership with the artistes is to help people understand what elections mean, what the votes mean, but at times, our voice on its own is not enough, so we need these ambassadors. We need these champions that are already listened to by young people, to adopt the message and understand the message because they say it’s very different from when I say it as an individual.”
Chimhini said after the launch, the campaign would then spread through direct outreach in communities, churches, pubs and beerhalls and market places dotted across the country.
“The campaign, from its inception, will make the marginalised communities youth, women and people with disabilities a priority, and make sure that everyone who is eligible to vote is able to vote,” he said.
“Through the Get Out & Vote campaign, we want Zimbabweans to understand why this vote is crucial because it is one opportunity that Zimbabweans can express themselves and be heard in terms of whom they want to represent them after July 30.”
At the event, the Ninja President, as Winky D is popularly known by his fans, shared the stage with fellow dancehall artistes Kinnah, Silent Killer, Jah Signal and Lady Squanda.