Appreciates us while we are still alive: Iyasa founder

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BY SHARON SIBINDI

INKULULEKO Yabatsha School of Arts (Iyasa) founder and director Nkululeko Innocent Dube has said artists across genres should be honoured and appreciated while they are still alive.

Dube made the remarks last week where he was speaking at the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) Living Legends trophy handover ceremony to eight Bulawayo recipients.

The event was hosted by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) at the Bulawayo Art Gallery.

“Honouring our own while they can still hear us, while they can still smell the roses and feel the appreciation is noteworthy. May it not only be at funerals, not only at death that we tell each other’s corpses, graves and golden caskets that our work was or is appreciated,” he said.

“We are not award winners. We are recipients. We did not compete with anyone, neither did we beat anyone to end up with this recognition. We come out of a sector of many other deserving creatives who could, who should, who must one day receive similar recognition.”

NACZ director Nicholas Moyo thanked the Indian embassy through the Indian Council for Cultural Relations for sponsoring some of the awards.

“We welcome this partnership with the Indian embassy and we hope it can spread to other programmes in the sector for example I would love to see an Indian visual arts exhibition being hosted here at the gallery,” he said.

Indian ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vijay Khanduja said his embassy was organising a series of cultural events in the country as part of their 75th independence celebrations.

He said the cultural events woulwd showcase several Indian art forms including classical dance forms like Kuchipudi, Bharatnatyam, Mohiniattam and Kathakali which have proponents all over the world.

“We started the programmes in March 2021 with the celebration of Holi, the festival of colours. One sees vibrancy of colours in Indian paintings,” he said.

The legends who received trophies included Dube himself, historian Pathisa Nyathi, actress, dancer and story teller Ellen Mlangeni, playwright Felix “Silandulo” Moyo and Umkhathi Theatre Works director Matesu Dube.

Muhammed Jogee received a trophy on behalf of his late brother Rashid, while Privilege Zhou accepted the trophy on behalf of her South Africa-based father and visual artist Adam Madebe.

Lucia Tshuma collected the gong on behalf of his brother, retired musician Lovemore Majaivana, born Lovemore Tshuma, who is based in the US.

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