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Monday, 26 September 2011

Corporate world should support the arts industry

Supester Oliver Mtukudzi thrills fans at Chibuku Road to Fame

Corporate world should support  the arts industry

The 11th edition of the  Chibuku road to fame music finals was a classic show attended by thousands of music lovers who were treated to   fun  and dance by upcoming and established musicians who played on the occasion. Chibuku Road to Fame Festival,  always give an opportunity to young and upcoming musicians to showcase their talent   rubbing shoulders with veterans in the industry. It is also one of those rare opportunities for the budding musicians  to be exposed  to bigger crowds for the first time.    

The colourful event organised by Delta Beverages and the National Arts Council  of Zimbabwe  with free entrance for music lovers who danced all day long till midnight. The organisers did a job well done and should be commended in their efforts in supporting our music industry. The finals also saw music greats namely Superstar Oliver Mtukudzi, Tongai Moyo, Alick Macheso and Allan Chimbetu showcasing their acts to a capacity crowd and indeed they did not disappoint as they kept fans on their feet with their scintillating performances.

Allan Chimbetu, Tuku (Centre),Alick Macheos dance on one Tuku's songs
Such a gesture from a big corporate like Delta is a call to the  business community to plough back to the community through sponsoring and supporting such initiatives for the development of our arts industry.  Not only have they been sponsoring this event alone  but also other initiatives like the Chibuku Neshamwari Dance festival that is meant to preserve, safeguard and promote the dance forms in Zimbabwe. For years the festival to create an audience for dance and lay the foundation for dance as a source of employment for school leavers. This partnership by Delta and NACZ has proved quite fruitful.

Therefore we call on various other bodies NACZ included to seek and forge partnerships with the corporate world in having initiatives that support and promote our local arts industry. As for Delta, their  involvement in the arts industry over the years has been exceptionally commendable. Apart from these two major events are also involved in the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA), which has managed to raise the nation’s flag high on the international fora.  

The Intwasa Festival, a multidisciplinary arts celebration held annually in Bulawayo. This festival celebrates various art forms like storytelling, song and music, dance, literary arts, theatre, film, performance poetry, fashion and design, visual arts, African Cuisine and Historical Traditions. The Jikinya  dance festival, where different schools compete against one another, showcasing various traditional dances. The festival aims at encouraging children to appreciate and perform Zimbabwean traditional dances thus preserving the country’s rich cultural heritage, so that it may not disappear. These are some of the processes that Delta has been involved into, and again we hope other corporate will follow suit.

In the last weeks I have been very critical of music promoters for doing lip service to the arts industry.  The argument is based on their concentration with established musicians and turning a blind eye on the upcoming musicians.

It’s quite apparent that promoters are amassing huge profits from live performances and we encourage them to plough back to the community. There should  come up with initiatives that will also cater for the little known and upcoming musicians for the development of our industry. We all understand that music promotion is a business and hence the need for the realisation of profits but at least there is  need for supporting young musicians.

All these big names they scramble to book for shows were once unknown and in the oblivion but because of support there are now big. Our arts industry has a potential to grow to the magnitude  of countries like South Africa if there is support from the corporate world and the government as well. The government should  show commitment in the development of arts industry by means of financial and moral support. Such efforts can be done through the Ministry of Education Sports and Culture and this should start in our schools.