New era for arts industry?


BULAWAYO artists and sports players have hailed the establishment of the Sport, Arts and Culture ministry saying the move signals a new development in the industry.


Various artists have in the past been clamouring for the separation of the Education ministry from Arts, Sport and Culture arguing education is being prioritised ahead of arts, sport and culture.

The former Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry has been separated into two standalone ministries namely Education ministry and Sport, Arts and Culture ministry following the announcement of cabinet by President Robert Mugabe last Wednesday.

The separation came at a time when the arts, sport and culture industry in Zimbabwe is nose-diving. Amakhosi Theatre director Cont Mhlanga said the development was commendable as priority has always being given to education ahead of sport, arts and culture.

“We are very happy that at last we would get attention. I hope the new minister will not then prioritise any of the three ahead of the other,” he said.

“Education has always been receiving attention in terms of budget ahead of sport, arts and culture, but what the President has done is commendable. To us this is an arts and culture revolution. A talent revolution!”

Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo director and playwright Raisedon Baya shared similar sentiments saying he was hopeful the arts industry would now have a new look adding they had been waiting for the development.

“This move signifies a new development in the arts industry which has been in deep slumber. We have been lobbying for such a move for a long time and the development does not come as a surprise,” he said.

“Arts has always been an appendage of education and all resources allocated to the ministry were being swallowed up by education at the expense of arts, sport and culture.

“But it is important for us as players in the industry to come together and be organised and draft a roadmap so that when we approach the minister we know what we want.”

Inkululeko Yabatsha School of Arts director Nkululeko Dube weighed saying the ministry should promote the arts in schools.

“I think it is a welcome move. We have been longing for this. I, however, hope sport does not take more prominence over arts and culture,” he said.

Dube is concerned about the link between education and sport, arts and culture which he says should not be ignored because the latter is part of the school curriculum.

Cultural activist and writer Pathisa Nyathi believes the new Arts, Sport and Culture ministry will be a rallying point for arts and culture aspects and commended government for creating the ministry which in his opinion will cater for what players in the arts industry have been clamouring for.

“This is a welcome move. Hopefully arts, sport and culture will get the attention they deserve. I hope this ministry will be a rallying point for all aspects of arts and culture which have been scattered,” he said.

Zifa vice-president Ndumiso Gumede welcomed the new development and pleaded for financial assistance from the new ministry.

“It is a very welcome move. We have been lobbying for a new ministry dealing specifically with sport for a long time,” he said.