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04 May 2020


The National arts council of Zimbabwe has received mealie-meal for distribution to artists in Bulawayo, whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID19 global pandemic and the subsequent measures instituted by the government to curb its spread.

NACZ Director Mr. Nicholas Moyo said the 66, 10kg bags of mealie meal will benefit artists who registered for assistance with the council.

“We asked artists who needed assistance to register with our provincial offices, and in Bulawayo, we received 66 names. The names have been sent to the government for state assistance, in the meantime, however, a well-wisher has come on board with the donation of mealie meal which we are happy to receive on behalf of artists in the province,” said Mr. Moyo.

The donation was received from United Kingdom-based Bulawayo artist, Sisa Mkandla through her “Isisa Senkosi” Helping Hands Foundation.

Handing over the donation to NACZ, Sisa said she had decided to assist fellow artists in Bulawayo during their time of need when they could not practice their various trades due to the COVID19 pandemic.

“I decided to help out artists in the city as I know that shows, performances, and exhibitions have been canceled or postponed due to the coronavirus which has left a lot of artists with no income for the foreseeable future. The bags of mealie meal are just one small thing that I could give at the moment.” She said.

Over 1300 artists from 9 provinces in the country, registered with the NACZ for the government relief fund, which is targeting people whose livelihoods have been disrupted by measures to contain the deadly Coronavirus.

01 May 2020


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe has expressed shock and sadness following the death of veteran Dancer and Actress Yengiwe Ngwenya popularly known as “Nambiji” or uMambatha from the television drama series “Isithembo”.

In a statement, NACZ Director Mr Nicholas Moyo said Yengiwe’s contributions will be sorely missed in the arts sector as she was a rare fine specimen of women in the arts, with a mission to preserve the country’s traditional dance heritage.

“On behalf of the board, management and staff of the NACZ, stakeholders and the entire arts fraternity and on my own behalf I would like to send sincere condolences to the Ngwenya family following the passing on of one of the legendary icons of the arts industry in Zimbabwe.” Moyo said.

Yengiwe was part of the legendary Thandanani Dance Ensemble which was formed in 1982 and was honoured in 2019 by the NACZ for its effort in preserving culture through traditional dances and imparting knowledge to the younger generation.

For 38 years she was part of the local arts scene, with “Ogogo bamasiko” toiling with their traditional dance routines of “Isitshikitsha” and “Whosana” as well as songs synonymous with the Ndebele and Kalanga cultures of the southern region of Zimbabwe.

“The creative sector will certainly never be the same without her again.NACZ will forever cherish Mama Mangwenya’s talent, dedication and passion in the Arts and Culture sector as she endured many hardships that she took within her stride to pursue a lifelong career of entertaining audiences on stage and on television.” Director Moyo Said.

25 Apr 2020


Government has set up a ZWL$17 Million Relief Fund to support youth-led businesses and associations and to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on their operations across the country.

The fund which is being administered through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation aims to promote innovativeness, value addition, and/or beneficiation among youth-run enterprises and Complement other relief initiatives by Government, was unveiled by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Honourable Kirsty Coventry in Harare yesterday.

The Minister said the fund is meant to provide relief support to youth enterprises affected by the coronavirus endemic and the measures being taken to contain it and seeks to build capacity among youth-led businesses and registered youth organisations engaged in activities complementing the National Task Force’ relief efforts such as manufacturing and distribution of protective materials such as face masks, sanitizers, soaps as well as those engaged in other social supporting activities such as public awareness campaigns.

As we are all aware, the COVID-19 pandemic, which has already infected more than 1,5 million people with more than 100,000 deaths worldwide has the potential to reach a larger proportion of the global population. Zimbabwe has of now recorded 29 cases with 4 of them having succumbed to the pandemic. Many businesses have been affected by the pandemic and the youth sector has also not been spared.

The Minister said the Relief Fund targets youth enterprises and registered youth associations who meet the specified criteria which include associations or Enterprises owned by Zimbabwean youths which must have been existing and operating for a period of at least six months to a year before the lockdown who are able to demonstrate how their activities have been impacted by COVID19 pandemic.


“Their project/business must have a formalized business structure and comply with the statutory requirements governing that sector. The must demonstrate innovation, value addition, and or beneficiation”. The Minister said.


She added that enterprises helping to combat Covid19 will be given priority in the release of funds and the association or enterprise must be able to produce a bank statement dating back 6 months to a year prior to the lockdown. Applicants should not have benefitted from other Government COVID19 relief facilities.


To benefit from the fund, Applicants are required to provide proof of operation for a minimum of six months to a year prior to lockdown in the form of invoices, orders, delivery notes, and bank statements. They must be youth aged between 18 -35 years and must are citizens of Zimbabwe residing in the country with local business operations. In addition, they must show proof of place of operation eg lease agreement, ZESA bill, Water bill, etc.


The Minister said the disbursement of funds to qualifying beneficiaries shall be a once-off payment with registered Youth owned businesses/enterprises eligible for a grant of up to $5 000

While youth registered Social Organisations/ Associations can get up to $3 000.

“I wish to assure the nation that mechanisms are in place to ensure that the fund will be administered in an open and transparent manner as well as to ensure that all Zimbabwean youth who meet the above-set criteria will have an equal chance of benefitting from the programme. No application will be turned away. In fact, those that do not qualify under this Fund will be referred to other facilities such as the social protection, arts sector support scheme”. She said.


Minister Coventry said the application process involves various online platforms in line with existing precautionary measures put in place to avoid further spread of the corona virus. Youths who fail to access the online platforms can liaise with the Ministry’s provincial contact persons for onward submission to the Head Office.



23 Apr 2020


A COVID-19 Culture and Creative Industries portal which aims to offer information resources, technical support, and crisis response expertise, to the Cultural and Creative Industries ecosystem, for the strengthening of sector preparedness and response mechanisms, has been launched.

The portal which is run under the Nhimbe Global Affairs Observatory, maps other interventions, by various institutions, individuals, governments, government functionaries and communities, as a means of supporting the cultural and creative industries ecosystem, to ensure that it maintains a degree of functionality despite the devastation of the current health crisis

The initiative recognizes that the COVID-19 global health crisis has tremendously impacted the functionality and functioning capacities of cultural and creative industries, placing a demand for the formulation of concerted responses that are timely, accessible, resilient, and targeted.

The government recently announced plans to disburse funds, through a grant relief programme, for artists affected by the national lockdown.

The initiative seeks to increase the accessibility of opportunities, research tools, and communiques that are available to cultural and creative industry stakeholders, within and beyond the ambit of their geographical areas of operation.

Through research analysis and critical reflection, the portal provides information resources and expertise aimed at strengthening cultural and creative sectors’ capacity to respond to a crisis.

This intervention strategically addresses the development of resilient systems e.g structural, institutional, and financial that can be leveraged on in times of crisis. It looks at CCI Complex Emergency Preparedness and CCI Emergency Assistance Coordination including Cultural Rights and human-centered Crisis Relief.

Nhimbe Global Observatory is part of Nhimbe Trust a local Civil Society Organisation, and curates’ culture, arts, and heritage-oriented interventions in response to complex emergencies with programming targeted at countries and communities at risk of conflict, in conflict, engaged in post-conflict reconstruction, affected by natural disasters and impacted by political or socio-economic ‘crisis.’

To contribute to this information resource portal, email info@cci-covid19.org or visit www.cci-covid19.org.

12 Apr 2020


The United Program for Artists and Athletes of Zimbabwe (UPAZIM)
UPAZIM is inviting you to create a video with a message of encouragement to fellow artists; athletes and creatives during this time we are all in lockdown. As we are all going through this COVID-19 and we are all affected in various ways many artists and athletes
have found themselves out of work overnight. We invite you to contribute to this community by sending messages of hope as a way of encouraging and connecting with one another. Navigating this space requires us to unite and be there for one another. Our first step is video clip submissions during Easter and our second step will be voice notes to be aired on radio stations (Date TBA).
Please record short video clips and send your submissions by midnight: Sunday 12th April 2020 to Rudo Nondo via email at
info@upazim.org or via WhatsApp on +263719110222
1. Please start the video by introducing yourself (Example “ Hey I am Rudo Nondo, International Creative designer and founder of The African Rack)
2. Please select one standard message from the five standard video message options provided on the second page.
3. Your video should not exceed 40 seconds, it must be fun and include a statement selected from the standard messages provided below.
4. Video files are limited to a total file size of 5MB.
5. Please post videos on personal social media handles and tag @UPAZIM on Instagram; United Program For Athletes and Artists in Zimbabwe on Facebook and @UPAZIM on twitter.
6. In addition to individually uploading on your social media and tagging UPAZIM, the submitted videos will be collated together and aired on our social media platforms on Facebook; Instagram and Twitter as together we can stand united with one voice

09 Apr 2020


Tom Blomefield (95) the founder of Tengenenge Arts Centre, Guruve has died.
He died in Holland, where he had relocated to after his retirement, on Wednesday morning.
In a statement, His son Steve said he was happy that his father had left a legacy that is being appreciated by the communities in Guruve and Mvurwi.
“He will be sorely missed by tens of thousands of people whose family members learned art at Tengenenge and fed extended families,” he said.
Steve said many of the thousands of sculptors who passed through Tom’s hands are scattered throughout the world blessing others through their artworks.
“He lived a long, happy life serving his community and the nation of Zimbabwe. He spoke two African languages fluently (Chewa and Yao) and learned to coexist within these cultures,” Steve said.
Blomefield founded Tengenenge Art Community in 1966, after economic sanctions were imposed on the then Rhodesia.
Tengenenge — which means “the beginning of the beginning” — became a household name in the arts industry, attracting buyers from all over the world, with the majority coming from the Netherlands.
Zimbabwean sc

Tengenenge Founder Tom Blomefield

ulpture was all over Dutch galleries and local artists, mainly those from Tengenenge, became the darling of the Dutch Arts sector.

01 Apr 2020


The United Nations Scientific Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has opened the 11th Call for applications under the International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD).

The period which runs from 16 March to 27 May 2020 will see UNESCO accepting applications for funding from public authorities/institutions and Non-Governmental Organisations(NGOs) from eligible countries as well as international NGOs.

According to UNESCO interested entities are to submit projects that lead to sustainable development and structural change through the introduction and/or elaboration of policies and strategies that have a direct impact on the creation, production, distribution of and access to a diversity of cultural goods, services and activities as well as the reinforcement of skills in the public sector and civil society organizations to support viable local and regional cultural industries and markets in developing countries.

The IFCD is a multi-donor fund established by the UNESCO 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions. Over the past 10 years, the IFCD has provided more than 8 million USD to 114 projects in 58 developing countries and contributes to the vision of a world where creativity is celebrated fully and compensated fairly.

At the heart of the IFCD is its commitment towards sustainable development recognizing that creative sectors have an immense potential to contribute to prosperous societies, both economically and culturally hence it finances initiatives that stimulate the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in developing countries.

The 11th Call for Applications closes on 27 May 2020, 11:59 PM Paris time. To apply visit: https://en.unesco.org/creativity/ifcd/apply

20 Mar 2020



The current Corona crisis is hitting hard all industries and the creative sector is no exception. In general, the arts sector will in the next few weeks and months face a tragedy of unprecedented level. The government of Zimbabwe on Tuesday declared COVID-19 a state of National Disaster and the President announced a raft of measures crafted as part of the response mechanism for the country. We applaud the measures taken by the government as the nation’s health and well-being comes first.

As National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), difficult as it may be, we call upon ALL stakeholders, stockholders, players and consumers in the cultural and creative industries to step up and comply with the response measures set by the government. Unfortunately, COVID-19 knows no timeframe and knows no numbers, as industry players we need to think people and not event. If players are to put people first and cancel, suspend or postpone events that had been planned already, we will go a long way in contributing in a positive way to the national response.

As NACZ we call upon all organizers of World Theatre Day associated activities, meant to be held this March, to CANCEL them forthwith. The same MUST apply to all other events falling in April within the time frame given by the government. This is obviously a sad chapter in the arts business in this country as artists and promoters alike will find themselves in a precarious situation as livelihoods are threatened.

Meanwhile, we acknowledge responsible leadership already shown by the shelving of the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCI) Indaba by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, shutdown of the three (3) National Galleries of Zimbabwe and the shelving of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards. We also recognize that in response to the call, the inaugural Stephen Chifunyise International Theatre Festival has immediately invested in a digital platform and is set to be a new but exciting festival online. On the other hand, the Hokoyo Album launch by Jah Pryzah will now be online via Facebook Livestream.

Some of the promoters that had already signed contracts and paid international artists have already committed to playing their roles in canceling those major shows. The Burna Boy Concert by Kayse Connect has officially been postponed to a later date to be fixed. Two concerts bringing in top DJs from South Africa by 2Kings Entertainment have also been postponed. We salute these promoters as they take the lead in protecting creative music consumers from exposure and at the same time complying with the government’s call.

At NACZ we are alive to the negative impact that this COVID-19 disaster will have on the Creative and Cultural Sector. Most artists the world over, by nature, are very vulnerable and in this period, it means their livelihoods are put on hold as the world deals with COVID-19. The industry will have to deal with the impact of the cancellations and/or postponement of performances /events during this period of uncertainty.

In the meantime creatives, celebrities and ambassadors of various products are stepping up their participation as key communicators on various messages on coronavirus. Together we stand to protect each other and together we shall stand to build our economy and our industries inclusive of the creative industry.


Nicholas Moyo

Executive Director

19 March 2020


16 Mar 2020


Murewa Culture Centre will on the 27th of March 2020 host the inaugural “Mvura Naya Naya” festival on the occasion of the United Nations’ World Water Day commemorations.

The festival is a community-based initiative championed by traditional leaders in Mashonaland East Province working closely with the Government and other partners within the various sectors of the economy.

Chief NeChombo, the festival coordinator says it is set against a background of cultural erosion in the country and is borne out of a new narrative of wanting to Position, Preserve and Promote the Zimbabwean culture.

“It is a prayer which signifies development in the cultural, social and economic sectors. With this we are saying, Mvura Naya Naya is a vehicle to bring forth the good waters of economic, social and cultural development”. He said.


The initiative is aimed at positioning the tangible and intangible cultural heritage as it is taken out of the phrase “Mvura Naya Naya” which is associated with good fortunes of prosperity synonymous with good rains.


The One-day festival will feature the Mvura Naya Naya Cultural song/ Detembo- meaning prosperity in all sectors, Marimba songs, Drums/Ngoma competition featuring 3 groups, Dance competition, traditional dressing for Chiefs and Wives fashion and design competition and Drama groups performing Traditional Marriage ceremonies and dare.


The event will also showcase exhibitions in Art & Craft, Traditional foods, Herbs-Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS), Home industry displays i.e. Duri/Kutswa; Guyo; Maheu; Opaque beer; Juices).

02 Mar 2020



The 19th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) Ceremony on Saturday was full of glitz and glamour as the country’s outstanding artists for 2019 were crowned.

The event began with a massive collaboration performance of “Ngaibake” featuring Alick Macheso, Vabati Vajehova, Freeman and Amara Brown. This act was followed by pre-recorded speeches by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) board chairman Professor Herbert Chimhundu who gave welcome remarks, Professor Ruby Magosvongwe the chairperson of the NAMA adjudicators and the guest of honour the Minister of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation, Honourable Kirsty Coventry.

The Awards which were hosted by Actor Leroy Gopal and Actress Mbo Mahocs saw T Gonzi and Ishan bag two gongs apiece as Outstanding Male Musician and Outstanding New Comer respectively with their Hit Song “Kure” earning them an award for the Outstanding Song of the Year. Other winners were:


Outstanding Female Dancer

Dadirai                 Mupandawana             in                  Ezimnyama Dance Group

Outstanding Male Dancer

Selemani Mpochi   aka    Majuice          in            Ochestra Mberikwazvo


 Outstanding 2 Dimensional work

Cyclone Idai where is Mommy?            by          Calvin Chimutuwah

Outstanding 3-Dimensional Works

Tribute to the mother of generations       by                 Stanley Mutanga

Outstanding Mix Work

Distorted History                        by          Anthony Bumhira

Outstanding Exhibition

Pieces for Peace, Pieces, Revolutionary Freshness   by     Talent Kapadza & Shuna Herscovitz


Outstanding Poet

Sithembile Siqhoza Ndebele         aka   Zingizwanizinja

Outstanding Comedian

Learnmore Mwanyenyeka     aka    Long John


Outstanding Journalist – Print

Tafadzwa Kachiko                                 –        Newsday

Outstanding Journalist -Radio

Anesu Masamvu               –               ZiFM

Outstanding Journalist – Television

Masceline Bondamakara  –       ZBC

Outstanding Online Media



Outstanding Actor

Ronald Madodana Sigeca         in           Imbokodo

Outstanding Actress

Charmaine Mudau       in           Imbokodo

Outstanding Theatrical Production

Bongile                              by           Chiedza Makwara

Outstanding Director

Yeukai Yvonne Chandiposha    of     Bongile


Outstanding First Creative Published Work

A People’s Fight        by           Fradreck Hombiro          [Hombiro Media Company]

Outstanding Children’s Book

Songs of the Little Creatures    by    Phumulani Chipandambira   [Chipandambira Archives]

Outstanding Fiction Book

Out of Darkness, Shining Light     by     Petina Gappah      [Scribner]

Outstanding Poetry Book

Agringanda Like a Gringa Like a Foreigner by   Tariro Ndoro   [Modjaji Books]


Outstanding Actress

Antoinette Sango                                as    Thandi  in  Mandla

Outstanding Actor

Percy Soko                       as  Mandla             in     Mandla

Outstanding Music Video

Sunshine City Directed  by      Kalai Faye Barlow ft.  Flying Bantu

Outstanding Screen Production (Television)

Mandla                              Directed by      Solomon Mandaza

Outstanding Screen Production (Short Film)

Redefining the Road           Directed by        Tapiwa Gambura

Outstanding Screen Production (Full length Film)

Stay with Me             Directed  by         Nick Zemura


Outstanding Newcomer

Isheanesu Chigagura    aka    Ishan

Outstanding Female Musician

Thamsanqa Moyo         aka        Tammy Moyo

Outstanding Male Musician

Tinashe Gonzara        aka   Ti Gonzi

Outstanding Song

Kure                                            by        Ishan ft Ti Gonzi

Outstanding Album

Uhuru                 by          Willis Kachambwa       aka Willis Wataffi


Artist in the Diaspora

Vusa Mkhaya

Promoter of the Year

D& G Promotions

Arts Personality Award


Arts Service Award                                                                                                                                                             

Dr,Solomon Guramatunhu

Lifetime Achievement

Mbuya Stella Chiweshe

People’s Choice Award

Wallace Chirimuko a.k.a Winky D