Bambelela goes digital



AWARD-WINNING Bambelela Arts Ensemble has migrated from their traditional norm of doing development work through physical performances embracing the digital way of doing business.

The group has turned its plays into a radio drama titled Bambelela Arts on Radio Project (BARP) supported by Culture Fund of Zimbabwe and European Union that will air every Friday on Khulumani FM from today until November 26.

In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, project manager Witness Tavarwisa said they seek to explore new avenues of reaching out to citizens and various communities without compromising their health and that of the artists during this COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was introduced after considering that for more than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world and almost put everything on hold, the creative industries had not been spared too due to the new normal which called for restrictions on public gatherings and live performances that attract audiences,” he said.

“The outbreak of COVID-19 seriously affected theatre artists’ livelihoods as they mostly survive through physical and public performances. BARP is an adaptation of Bambelela Arts’ four acclaimed stage plays namely Naked Truth, Crying Games, The Wish List and Look Listen and Decide turned into a 13-episode radio drama.

Tavarwisa said through the radio, citizens will have access to professional performances and also get to acquire knowledge on a variety of issues.

“The project will also create an opportunity for the artists to acquire and develop new skills within the performance sector. Artists will receive on-the-job training and also derive livelihoods from the project at a time many are faced with survival challenges due to COVID-19-induced lockdowns,” he said. “The focus areas of the training as adapted from the four plays include human rights, gender-based violence and social cohesion issues.”

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