SPORT, Arts and Culture minister Andrew Langa has urged Zimbabwean musicians to promote culture by their music saying there was need no need for them to popularise cultures that are foreign to the country.
Langa, who is also Insiza legislator was speaking during the country’s 13th edition of the National Arts Merit Award (Nama) held at Bulawayo’s Rainbow Hotel on Saturday night.
The minister, whose ministry was conceived through the separation of the then Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry, had no kind words for musicians as he unleashed his maiden speech at the annually held awards banquet organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
He charged that musicians ought to promote the country’s diverse culture through music instead of singing meaningless lyrics that promoted cultures that are foreign in the country and Africa.
“We have a rich culture that we should well safeguard in Zimbabwe. Don’t import what will impress other people,” Langa said.
“The lyrics that you sing as musicians should reflect who we are. Why do you want to bring a culture which was never there in Africa? You must instead sing what depicts our country Zimbabwe and its diverse cultures. You must stop singing meaningless lyrics.
“Why don’t you sing about Father Zimbabwe and educate the nation about who he was and how he lived? If you don’t know his history, ask we will tell you,” Langa said amid applause.
“If you don’t know what to sing about, sing about HIV and Aids,” Langa added.
He challenged artistes from Matabeleland to consider singing about the province’s diverse cultures arguing there were a number of cultures that artistes could portray using their music.
He further stated that there was need for artistes to collaborate so that they produce quality artistic products adding that his ministry would amend the country’s previous Act(s) to open more space for artistes and to enable the arts sector to blossom.