Kunzwana rolls out funding for artists

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BY SHARON SIBINDI

KUNZWANA Trust through its new project, The Arts Factory, is inviting artistes and cultural practitioners to apply for financial aid to boost their careers as they prepare for post COVID-19 pandemic recovery.

Established in 1987 as a non-profit organisation, the trust fosters the practice and study of indigenous music in the country and promotion of the work of performing artistes and instrument-makers.

Their latest project is supported by the Creative Actions programme under Culture Fund of Zimbabwe and the European Union Delegation to Zimbabwe.

In a statement, the trust said when applying for arts factory assistance, artistes and
practitioners should state how they would use the grant to develop their art.

“There was a hiatus in operations after the death of former director cum-renowned musician, composer and activist, Keith Goddard, but now the revival of Kunzwana Trust is being spearheaded by trustees Debbie Metcalfe, Penny Yon and Ian White,” the statement read in part.

“All are veterans who have a wealth of experience and a proud legacy having worked with hundreds of local artistes in building and supporting the arts in Zimbabwe for decades.”

“The Arts Factory project, kick-starts the ‘factory’ in support of arts development in Zimbabwe in 2021, with a grant from the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust’s Creative Actions programme, co-funded by the European Union.”

“With artistes’ careers in jeopardy, they need to plan and prepare for post-COVID-19 recovery.

“Workshops are also planned to help artistes towards mastery in the new digital space.”

Kunzwana Trust over the years worked with local artistes among them Black Umfolosi, the late music hero Oliver Mtukudzi, mbira players Simon Mashoko and Beular Dyoko (both late), alongside artistes from Mozambique and South Africa.

“In the early 90s, Kunzwana Trust focused on a cultural exchange programme with the Austria-Zimbabwe Friendship Association and long-time partner Peter Kuthan, in which Zimbabwean and Austrian musicians and composers have collaborated and toured.”

“The exchanges included a tour to Austria by 28 musicians of the Tonga Ngoma Buntibe group ‘Simonga’ of Binga, promoting this marginalised music and culture on the world stage in 1997 at Nyaminyami Festival.”

“In 2014, the trust facilitated the Kunzwana #1, collaboration between Hope Masike, Josh Meck, Blessing Chimanga, Othnell ‘Mangoma’ Moyo and a European artiste, which was first staged at the Harare International Festival of the Arts and later toured South Africa and Austria.”

Follow Sharon on Twitter @SibindiSharon