BY WINSTONE ANTONIO/ IRENE MOYO
Government’s recent lifting of the COVID-19 midnight curfew lockdown has helped to fully reignite the showbiz spark.
The World Health Organisation has also reported a 90% global decline in COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19-induced lockdowns had financially squeezed artists, who are now breathing a sigh of relief. Undoubtedly, it is back to business for almost all artists, promoters and venue owners.
In the latest development, the country’s top galleries, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Harare and Bulawayo have reintroduced the First Friday, a music, poetry and storytelling show and Friday Late ZW event.
The free of charge Friday Late ZW show will be held by the Bulawayo gallery in partnership with curators Early Entertainment to empower and promote local artists across art disciplines.
NGZ in Harare said the past two years were tough due to the COVID-19-induced lockdowns.
“We went on lockdown, opened up again, and shut down again. Limits to our audience were imposed, protocols followed and continue to be adhered to, and events were limited to low attendee caps,” the gallery said.
The gallery is elated that the stringent conditions have been relaxed and it is not wasting any time re-engaging the public programmes.
“First Friday is returning on the first of July featuring poets D-Blok Keislim, Cyclone, Zyek, Hey Hey Preacher and Tinashe Muchuri. These adroit lyrists and troubadours recite instinctive paths of language, while putting the best words in the best order,” NGZ added.
Founding director of Early Entertainment Elliot Moyo told NewsDay Life & Style that performing artists, among them musicians, poets, dancers and comedians are welcome to feature at the Friday Late ZW shows.
“The show (Friday Late ZW) is about celebrating and promoting all forms of art from the exhibitions which are mounted at the gallery, to music, film, fashion, gaming, and so much more,” Moyo said.
“Performers for the show are chosen by Early Entertainment who curate the event in accordance to whatever activities or themes the gallery has for that particular month and their team of collaborators. Music is the universal language which brings people together, which is why live performances tend to be the highlight of the event, uniting people at the gallery.”
Moyo said the Friday Late ZW show will also help unearth new talent.
Being the home and hub for various artists, artworks and performers in the creative sector, the gallery created Friday Late ZW to develop and grow consumption of home-grown art by the local audience.
“We want to see the demand for local music growing on the market, inspiring multiple high paying solo shows for local acts which are overshadowed by foreign acts both in visibility and consumer ability. We want to hear local music played in supermarkets, clubs, bars, kombis, parties and online reels the way foreign music is played and loved,” Moyo added
Bulawayo gallery regional director Silenkosi Moyo said the Friday Late ZW show will enable individuals interact with their favourite artists.
“The Friday Late ZW is one event for young artists to showcase their talent and develop audiences. As a gallery, it also gives us an opportunity to develop a database of new audiences that informs our programming,” she said.
“The event promotes current exhibitions on show which are Vital Voices, The Stars are Bright and Love Shouldn’t Hurt during which a two-hour timeslot is dedicated to free or guided tours of these exhibitions.”
Moyo also said studios will be open for those hoping to purchase a gift for their loved ones and have personal interaction with the artists during the show.”
Notable artists who have previously performed at Friday Late ZW include ASAPH, Vuyo Brown, Khwezi, Noluntu J, Lewis Ndlovu and the Drums of Peace and Msiz’kay, among others.
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