Art a relaxed route to social change: Chinokwetu



AFRIREMEDY Arts for Development Trust director Courage Zvikomborero Chinokwetu says art is a relaxed route to advocate for social change in communities.

A lecturer, who is passionate about humanitarian work, Chinokwetu, together with actors aged between 18 and 35, have managed to bring social change in different communities through art.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Chinokwetu said art made it easier to address community concerns amid laughter and entertainment.

“As AfriRemedy, we use art as a method to tackle issues of gender-based violence (GBV), sexual abuse, children’s and maternal health rights,” she said.

“Art provides the means of addressing critical and sensitive issues within the safety of the fictional world. This world provides distancing from the intensity of the challenges being faced or addressed.”

Chinokwetu said, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had embraced the digital way of doing business though it restricted intimacy with the audience or participants.

“We used to perform in hospitals, churches, prisons, schools and some communities with pressing concerns, but COVID-19 has forced us to resort to digital platforms which, however, compromises the quality of our works,” she said.

Chinokwetu said they continued to receive positive feedback on the uniqueness of the methods they use such as drawings, paintings, drama and poetry to address pressing real life concerns in communities.

“The different methods we use in the execution of our work encourage those involved to open up in a creative way.

“We have worked with schools and some have requested progressive drama sessions with their students,” she said.

Chinokwetu said, as part of their initiative, they also focused on community theatre, which did not need the stage to engage with communities.

Chinokwetu, who dreams of opening an arts academy, has co-ordinated various arts festivals such as Buddyz Annual Festival of the Arts (2007), Zimbabwe Youth Festival (2011) Women’s Arts Festival (2014) and OyOsMusic Festival (2017).

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