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Boost for female artists

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BY SHARON SIBINDI

THE Media and Arts Zimbabwe (MAZ) in Bulawayo under the Sisters Next Generation programme has launched several initiatives that seek to empower women in the creatives sector, with the support of Culture Fund Zimbabwe and the European Union.

One of the lead trainers, Christensen Mapuranga, told NewsDay Life & Style that several training programmes were on the cards, with at least 50 females expected to benefit from the training and incubator project.

“The organisation seeks to fill the void in the training and skills capacitation of creatives as there are not enough institutions offering technical skills required for the modern creative,” he said.

“The training that has since been launched include photography, scriptwriting, and podcasting and sound engineering is part of empowering the next generation of female creatives’ projects.”

Mapuranga said in the last quarter of 2020, the Sisters Next Generation programme trained 21 females in music management and music recording and production.

“The training programme, which was facilitated by experienced industry personnel, was the first to specifically target females with the intention of producing the pioneering female music producers in the country,” he said.

“We have also partnered with several other arts organisations to come up with programmes that will enable females to increase and meaningfully participate in the cultural and creative industry. It is expected that the combined resources of these organisations will provide a solid foundation for the empowerment of project
beneficiaries.”

Rudo Nyoni, who is part of the trainers, said one of the key initiatives launched was the Incubator Project, which will see four aspiring female musicians receive training, mentorship, a three-year contract and a two-album contract that includes music videos.

“Young females between the ages of 16 and 21 are encouraged to apply and this includes bands with membership in the age group. The deadline for applications is March 1 and potential beneficiaries only need to send a video showcasing their talent for consideration,” she said.

“The organisation has partnered with Words by Nkosi which also intends to train 10 scriptwriters as part of its effort to ensure that females are not left out in the television industry which is expecting six new television channels this year.”

Nyoni said several training programmes were already running online, which include podcast training, which has a class of 11 females and DJ training which has 10 females.

“Once restrictions are lifted the sound engineering class will also begin. The lockdown restrictions have, however, forced the postponement of the photography class but it is expected to also begin this month,”she said.

She said the training would be headed by Nkosilesisa Ncube, who is a DStv Multichoice Talent Factory alumni and is an experienced screenwriter with productions under her including Another Wedding, Bazukuru, Rubbish to Rubies, Stealers, Jaiva Sbone and Ubuntu, a Zambian television drama which aired on Zambezi Magic and now airing on Showmax.

Some of the arts organisations supporting the projects to come up with programmes that will enable women to increase and meaningfully participate in the cultural and creative industry are Film and TV Resources, Sadee Lenswork, Studio X Designs, WordsByNkocy, Elephant Rekords and Ideas R Us.

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