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Artists set tone for incoming minister


AFRICA Innovation Trust is set to hold an arts seminar in partnership with JIVE Zimbabwe for local creatives to brainstorm around the kind of Arts minister the sector wants appointed in the upcoming Cabinet.


Benjamin Nyandoro

The workshop, to be held tomorrow under the theme Cabinet Watch, The Minister Zimbabwe Needs, is expected to set the tone for a responsive ministry that will facilitate the growth of the sector.

Seminar co-ordinator and Jive Zimbabwe executive director, Benjamin Nyandoro, yesterday told NewsDay Life & Style that as artists, they wanted their input considered in the selection of the arts and culture minister.

“We look forward to having our input contribute significantly to the decision making process. We need a ministry that aptly responds to the obtaining needs,” he said.

“We have invited arts and culture stakeholders to share ideas and brainstorm around issues affecting the sector, conversing on the best practices of the role of the government in the promotion of arts and culture in Zimbabwe.”

Nyandoro said it was important for government to acknowledge the role of artists as cultural ambassadors whenever they performed outside the country.

“For the past years, our government has not positioned arts and culture as a tool that can be part of nation branding across the globe despite its influence that can lead to the involvement of the country’s gross domestic product,” he said.

“As President-elect Emmerson Mnangangwa preaches the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra, arts and culture must also be at the centre of the process of re-imaging and rebranding of the country.”

Nyandoro said the arts and culture sector raised artists who constitute the country’s ambassadors and could not be ignored.

He said several stakeholders in the creative sector would engage in conversations that are meant to set the tone for responsive laws, policies and a minister that would help revive the sector.

Speakers at the indaba will include prominent lawyer Gwinyai Mharapara, Savanna Trust and theatre director Daniel Maphosa as well as Florence Nyamazana and Precious Nyandoro.

Nyandoro said discussions would be centred on laws governing the arts sector, governing institutions, emerging issues in the sector and gaps that needed to be plugged as well as challenges in the arts and culture industry.

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