‘Zimbos not keen to develop culture of going to theatre’

Munhamo-Pfumayaramba told NewsDay Life & Style that Zimbabweans are quite receptive to theatre, but have not yet fully adopted the culture of taking a child or themself to theatre.

THE Zimbabwe Theatre Association (Zita) chairperson, Getrude Vimbai Munhamo-Pfumayaramba says although Zimbabweans have an appreciation of theatre they do not fully support it.

Munhamo-Pfumayaramba told NewsDay Life & Style that Zimbabweans are quite receptive to theatre, but have not yet fully adopted the culture of taking a child or themself to theatre.

However, Zita is looking into building audience growth as many writers emerge.

“There are a lot of writers emerging which is a positive thing. Technology or the digital space has also opened up the door to a whole new world of possibilities through digital storytelling and performance of live streamed theatre,” Munhamo-Pfumayaramba said.

While writers have learned and embraced the concept of earning online, Munhamo-Pfumayaramba, however, pointed out that there is need for more training on how to navigate this new market.

Zita, a membership drive organisation, offers empowerment through training, capacity building and administrative support through the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe. The organisation is currently completing their national theatre consultation programme.

“Zita, with the expertise of the Zimbabwe Theatre Academy Director Lloyd Nyikadzino, Arts and Cultural expert Florence Majachani and Culture Warriors director Peter Mhumi together with our board, embarked on a national dialogue consultative project whereby we divided the sector in its respective skill sets so as to get views and perspectives from all parts of the theatre sector,” she said.

“These sectors being festivals, theatre space owners, administrators, directors, producers, writers, actors, lighting stage and set designers just to mention a few. We had both virtual, face to face and also phone call consultations as we wanted to reach out to many. I am glad to say we have successfully completed these and are compiling the report and will be launching it on a date to be advised early this year. We are looking forward to launching the report and also holding an indaba.”

Munhamo-Pfumayaramba, who is also the founder of Dendere Arts Trust, believes that embracing art can be a powerful tool to transform lives.

“I believe art is life and is able to save, the power of art in its essence of being able to set one free and come alive in the art form through the creative process of imagination. Art once embraced heartily can become a powerful tool for transforming lives and a safe space for people,” she noted.

Her desire is to nurture young artisits in a way she never did when she was young. This prompted her to start the organisation to create a safe space for growth and development.

She is also a life coach eager to transform the lives of people through mentoring and coaching by the power of emotional intelligence and personal development.

Munhamo-Pfumayaramba started her creative journey in 2008 studying performance arts and media at Theory X Media and began to work in the arts industry in 2010 and acted in the production Sinners.

She has also used her art for activism to participate and facilitate programmes for international organisations such as UNicef, International Organisation for Migration, International Monetary Fund and Population Services Zimbabwe on community-based projects such as road shows, focus group discussions and documentaries. In 2021 she was invited to perform her theatre piece Withering, on the subject of climate change at the United Nations SDG Summit Festival in Manilla, Philippines.

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