BY NUNURAI JENA
NATIONAL Arts Council board member and author Ruby Magosvongwe has encouraged local writers to contribute to the development of policies that deal with the arts and culture industry.
Speaking during the writers’ workshop at the close of the Zimbabwe International Book Fair, Magosvongwe said the National Arts Council Act was currently under review and writers should use that opportunity to make their contributions.
“The National Arts Council Act that was done in 1985 is set to be reviewed and I urge you fellow writers to constructively contribute for the betterment of our profession. Look at what other artists like musicians do; they lobby, but writers are always silent on issues that affect them,” she said.
Award-winning writer Aaron Chiundura Moyo said academic writers were letting the entire sector down by not coming up with position papers.
“Academic writers, who are technical, should spearhead our cause by writing our position paper to influence policies,” he said.
The low-key ZIBF attracted fewer exhibitors with traditional powerhouses like Mambo Press and Zimbabwe Publishing House conspicuously absent.
ZIBF interim chairperson Memory Chirere said the harsh economic conditions prevailing in the country affected the ZIBF.
“Yes the ZIBF was affected by what is prevailing in the country but remember also that the success of ZIBF is not measured by the number of people who visited the book fair. We had a successful Indaba conference as well as librarian and writers workshops,” he said.
Exhibitors at this year’s event were each forced to fork out as much as ZWL$1 100, a figure many felt was too high.