Trust launches project to support artists with disabilities

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Trust launches project to support artists with disabilities

POVOAfrika Trust recently launched a project called "Musicable",  that aims to empower people with disabilities in the music industry. This innovative program focuses specifically on women with disabilities in Zimbabwe. The project is being supported by Music In Africa Foundation (MIAF) and Goethe-Institut support.


Musicable aims to empower artists with disabilities by providing them with access to home recording tools, enabling them to record their music. Additionally, the project facilitates connections between these artists and mainstream markets through mentorship programs.Established artists such as Afro folklore singer, songwriter Raven Duchess, songbird and Mafriq co-founder Pauline Gundidza, and award-winning singer and songwriter Vuyo Brown will serve as mentors for the women artists with disabilities, namely, Jacqueline Mpofu, Chipo Muchegwa, and Afro Jazz, ethno artist Sithandazile Gumbo.


According to Musicable project liaison officer, Rudo Chakanyuka, in order to shed light on the challenges faced by artists with disabilities and their journey of overcoming them, Musicable plans to produce a documentary shared by the mentor and mentee.

“The documentary will be complemented by capacity-building workshops, bringing together artists with disabilities, industry professionals, and leaders in the arts and cultural sectors,” she said.


The project started being implemented on June 19 and is expected to run until September 15. Mentors and mentees have already been paired together and they are already rehearsing, having meetings, and mentoring sessions. The mentorship programme will culminate in a collaborative song between the mentor and mentee with activities expected to take place first in Mutare, Bulawayo, and Harare.


“We will meet with participants as well as our facilitator and we will also invite stakeholders in the music industry in arts and entertainment as well as disability activists and relevant authorities to come together and talk through the journey. Mentees and mentors will be sharing their experiences, we will discuss the points or challenges that will be raised that each of the participants would like to address in order to make their participation and inclusion in the music industry easier and better,” said Chakanyuka.


The project is part of POVOAfrika Trust’s increased support to communities that are often excluded from significant opportunities across Zimbabwe.
According to the United Nations, persons with disabilities include those with long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which, in interaction with various barriers, may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

Soneni Gwizi, a well-known disability advocate and award-winning communicator with a disability herself, will serve as the project advisor and facilitate the workshops. The workshops will go beyond documenting the challenges to providing practical solutions for the artists.

 

POVOAfrika Trust has been involved in various music-related projects in the past. In collaboration with HIVOS, they released SpeakSing Volume 1 and 2 compilation CDs in 2014 and 2015, featuring spoken word and songs from up-and-coming artists. The two organisations partnered on the POVO Journal between 2009 and 2020.

 

The trust also partnered with Music in Africa Foundation on the #16WomenVoices project, as part of MIAF’s Music in Africa Live initiative, which showcased live performances by female musicians addressing themes related to women's rights and ending violence against women. Furthermore, POVOAfrika Trust has published literary works, such as; Sokunge, which documents works and articles by Masimba Hwati, and produced "Nehanda", "Reimagined" a collection celebrating Mbuya Nehanda.

 

The project was a collection of essays, short stories, poetry, academic articles, drawings, paintings, prints, photographs and other depictions ofone of Zimbabwe’s most influential female protagonists.


POVOAfrika Trust is a non-profit and apolitical voluntary organisation focusing on social development through arts and cultural projects. It is also proactively involved in sustainability initiatives to address the effect of climate change on the environment through support from various technical development partners from government, civil society, and the corporate sector.

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