‘Culture fund to uplift artists’

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BY TENDAI SAUTA

CULTURE Fund of Zimbabwe Trust director Farai Mufunya said his organisation was keen to play a role in uplifting artists.

The organisation works within African communities and serves as an active social transformation agent through investments in innovative and sustainable creative sector capacities.

Mufunya told NewsDay Life & Style that the arts sector was geared for more success considering several milestones realised so
far.

“Over the years we have realised successes in carrying out and implementing projects such as the Cultural Statistics Survey Report 2012, Culture Actions Programme, Baseline Study on gender-based violence (GBV).

“Child Marriages and Climate   Change in Chipinge, Makoni and Mazowe districts of Zimbabwe, The Dreams Project and The Role of Arts in Peace Building, among others,” he said.

Mufunya said through projects like the Cultural Statistics Survey of 2012, Culture Fund of Zimbabwe identified several opportunities being underutilised and recommended funding.

“The Culture Actions Programme was set to challenge the retrogressive societal norms that exacerbate GBV through harnessing the transformative power of the creative arts. The Culture Fund Arts Grants have managed to transform the lives of several artists.”

Mufunya said COVID-19-induced lockdowns had had serious effects on the livelihoods of many artists as they brought with them a difficult operational environment for many organisations.

“Culture fund development projects and programmes were implemented within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“The arts, culture and creative sectors were impacted significantly as spaces of operation and participation were closed, mobility of artists and cultural practitioners was restricted while capacities of community-based partners to engage their constituencies was greatly limited.”

Mufunya said artists should emulate veteran visual artist Dominic Benhura who put emphasis on originality and high-quality products.

“Benhura has fought and won several copyright issues. He is also a good example of a commercial artist through the establishment of his private gallery,” he said.

Meanwhile, Mufunya said he would be resigning soon.

“I am about to reach the end of my term of office through a planned resignation and in line with our board circulatory terms. My initial duty was to lay structures and systems which would permit easy identification of roles, accountability, finance and grant management and productivity among others,” he said.

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