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31 Aug 2020


Players in the creative sector in Zimbabwe have paid tribute to the late writer, poet and actor David Mungoshi (71) who passed away on Saturday.

National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Director Mr Nicholas Moyo, said Mungoshi was a multi-talented individual who excelled in various arts disciplines.

“The passing on Mungoshi has indeed left a huge void in the arts sector as he contributed to the development of the sector through mentoring and his invaluable insights as a panelist in the NAMA adjudication committee for the literary categories.” Moyo said.

Mungoshi is a 2010 National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) winner for his novel “The fading Son” written in 2009 which tackled issues of breast cancer and its effect on the patient, their spouse, family and friends. The book was put on the list of literature set books for schools.

Monica Cheru the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Writers association (ZWA) said Mungoshi left the world a richer place because of the caliber of his literary works.

“As a writer and editor of the highest caliber, Davids works are of a superb nature and will forever remain standards of writing to be emulated. David helped groom many upcoming and established writers. He was a simple and humble man who was willing to support other writers in the community”, Cheru said.

Philip Chidavaenzi the founder of Writers Clinic described Mungoshi as one of the country’s foremost authors, a revered English editor, distinguished linguist and literary critic.
“Those who have been in Writers Clinic since inception will recall that we were priviledged to rub shoulders with this literary giant who did a month-long series dubbed “Insights into Poetry” a few years back,” said Chidavaendzi.

In a tweet, Author and Founder of Intwasa Festival Raisedon Baya described the late Mungoshi as a gentle mentor.

“Aaaah No! David Mungoshi gone. Some years ago he edited my book, “Mountain of Silence”. Such a gentle fella. RIP”, Baya said.

Mungoshi is the author of “Broken Dream and other stories” (1987) “Stains on the wall” (1992) and “the Fading Son” (2009). He also contributed to Poetry with his works featured in many anthologies following his own collection of poems “Live like an artist” (2017) which is a retrospective arc populated by femme fatales, oral histories, metaphysical musings and coming of age diaries.

A former University of Zimbabwe linguistics lecturer, Mungoshi will also be remembered as an actor for his role as John Huni in the local groundbreaking soapie Studio 263. He also starred in other local film productions, “The postman” and Ngugi wa Mirii’ “Secrets” which he also assisted in editing dialoguing the scripts.

21 Aug 2020


There is need for artists to build strong partnerships within and beyond the creative sector in Zimbabwe if the segment is to utilise the opportunities brought by COVID19 to transform itself into a recognisable viable and vibrant cultural industry.

These sentiments were raised by participants in a ResiliArt debate organised by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) on the Zoom platform which focused on the youth in the arts, the impact of COVID19 and opportunities for future development.

Lisa Sidambe of Nhimbe Trust said while artists had responded to the challenges brought by COVID19 through taking their work to digital spaces there was a need to support this transformation with the required policy framework and infrastructure.

“Artists need to work together to package digital products and promote their consumption this is very difficult at the moment as there is very minimal policy environment to support adaptability to this new digital environment,” she said.

Artist and House of Arts Association Executive Chairperson Casper Chigama said COVID19 had jolted the creative persons in the country to transform their analogue ideas into digital projects which have created room for more collaboration between various categories of artists.

“The digital environment has increased marketing space for some creative arts while others have suffered diminished returns due to lack of physical audiences, we, therefore, need to create a space to dialogue as the youth to chart the way forward for the arts sector,” said Chigama.

Plot Mhako the founder of Jibilika Dance Trust said there is a need for coherence in terms of government support to the sector.

“At the moment ministries like Tourism, Youth, Industry and Trade all deal with artists in one way or another, resulting in disconnection in support of the arts sector. Artists need to come together to examine and determine the vision for the arts sector in Zimbabwe” Mhako said.

Representing the Zimbabwe Youth Council (ZYC) Juliana Kariri said artists should take advantage of the dialoguing platforms offered by the government to air their views and lobby for the support they preferred from the state.

“We had the youth Relief Fund meant to assist youth social enterprises across the country, while the fund was meant to complement other funds, it is disheartening that there was a low uptake of the fund in the Arts sector. We had 5000 grant applications of which 1092 were successful sadly only 20 were in the Arts Sector” she said.

The Deputy Director of NACZ, Mr Josiah Kusena called on the artists to be pro-active in their dealings with the government.

“The government won’t think for the sector. Government works on what the industry wants. There is a need for you (artists) to make submissions, create documents that go to the appropriate government officers. Without that nothing will happen” Mr Kusena said.

ResiliArt is a global movement initiated by UNESCO that aims to strengthen the resilience of artists and cultural professionals in the face of the enormous challenges posed by the current COVID19 health crisis.

12 Aug 2020

Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards set for 28 November 2020

The 2020 edition of the Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards (RBAA) ceremony will now be held on the 28th of November 2020 as organisers grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 global pandemic.

The awards which had been scheduled for the 29th of August are meant to recognise and honour exceptional individuals and groups in Matabeleland. In a statement the organisers said the spread and impact of COVID-19 is unprecedented.

“This public health emergency will likely result in a global economic crisis – both of which will hit the poorest and most marginalized communities the hardest. With this in mind we will postpone the main RoilBAA ceremony,” said the organisers.

The virtual press conference also saw the launch of the RoilBAA Conscious Citizenship Strategy which is a response to the devastating consequences of the corona virus.

“RoilBAA is redoubling efforts to help, protect and sustain our creatives and their families and ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable creatives are prioritised in response and recovery efforts. It is to this effect that we launch the RoilBAA Conscious Citizenship Strategy, a strategy that can play a critical role in supporting the arts sector and help their efforts in creating work in these trying times”, the statement said.

The awards, now in their fourth year have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic which has seen the country go on lockdown for the past five months. Meanwhile the sponsors of the event have promised Covid-19 food relief packages to previous award winners.

25 Jul 2020


Entries are invited for the Pan African Mbira festival which runs online from the 15 to 30 September 2020.

The festival which is an online celebration of Africa through music seeks to celebrate the diversity of African cultural expressions which have given birth to many music forms cultures and traditions across continents.

In a statement the organisers said, the festival is a platform on which Africans can in their own voices and digital spaces showcase their work discover each other and collaborate.

“” Internationally African musical instruments like the Balafon, Dyembe, Kora, Mbira, Nyatiti and Udu are making a noticeable global imprint on the music diets of many cultures. Sadly most of this growth is occurring and mostly being leveraged outside the continent”. The statement said.

The expected outcomes of the festival are celebrating the richness and diversity of African music and musical instruments. Increase African generated digital music content on the internet. Offer a digital platform for intra Africa music collaboration.

The organisers called for submissions of music performances, new music compositions, interpretations and collaborations, Art articles, audio visual exhibitions, dance, photo exhibitions, podcasts, project launches and submissions for children.

For submissions participants can submit a link, audio video file and entry write up. Individuals can submit their own project or any projects in their country that they feel need the attention of the organisers.

“Each audio visual material must not be longer than 10 minutes; 3 to 5 minutes will be an ideal length. Radio and podcast submissions can be their normal length.” The organisers said.

The deadline for the submission of entries is 15 august 2020 and for more details and the submission of entries interested artists can email: mbiracentre@mbiracentre or whatsApp+263712216054 or  Facebook: Pan African Mbira Festival

10 Jul 2020


The Acting Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Professor Paul Mavima has unveiled a $10 million COVID-19 Relief Fund for the Arts sector.

Prof Mavima said government had noted that the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic had singularly brought an unexpected break to the flow in the entire ecosystem of the cultural and creative Industries in the the country.

“This sudden cessation of programmes and scheduling of events have had a direct sting on the major products of the industries. Agreeably the arts are a reliable source of income for many in the country and the disruptions of various calendar events due to COVID-19 has prompted Government to intervene by way of a Relief Fund. He said.

The Minister said the intervention was a temporary measure while broad, sustainable and structured interventions are being worked on for the industry and the fund is set to provide relief to registered Arts Associations/Organisations/Groups and Production Houses (Theatre, Dance, Film, Music Studios); Individual artists demonstrating the effect of COVID-19 on their practice, Registered Arts Centres/Spaces/Hubs or Galleries and Arts and Culture Education Institutions Projects and Programmes (Provincial and National levels with discernible impact on Cultural and Creative Industries’ development.)

Professor Mavima said the relief fund will assist practising artists able to demonstrate continuous practice for the past 2 years; Cultural and Creative industry practitioners living and working in Zimbabwe for the past 2 years.

“Applicants must demonstrate the experiencing of dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Institutions and projects with an impact at National or provincial level will be prioritised and applicants must not be employees, Board members, or immediate family members of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe or the National Gallery of Zimbabwe” he said.

The Minister also said applications will be received through the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), and National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) who are the regulatory Authorities of the Arts in Zimbabwe.

Application forms may be found and submitted at the Ministry’s Provincial and District Offices as well as the offices of the National Arts Council and National Gallery of Zimbabwe. The forms may also be downloaded from the Ministry’s website and also from the NACZ and NGZ websites.

The deadline for the submission of applications for relief is 31 July 2020.

29 Jun 2020
Winning Voice


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) has congratulated Charmaine Mapimbiro (aka Sha-Sha) on winning the Viewer’s Choice: Best New International Act Award at the 20th BET Awards held in Los Angeles at the weekend.

NACZ Director Mr Nicholas Moyo said Sha Sha’s success did not come as a surprise to the council as they were aware of the amount of hard work and dedication that she had put in her artistic works.

“We feel that this award is in recognition of her talent and amazing vocal ability. Any good work will speak for itself; the world has made a determination and we acknowledge the endorsement”, said Mr Moyo

The Director said Sha Sha’s sincerity and passionate desire to excel have borne such fruitful results as she kept her dedication firm and did not budge or give up at any time despite various challenges, she faced in her artistic journey which had ultimately earned her deserved global recognition.

“This award is also an endorsement on the growth and development of the arts sector in Zimbabwe and Africa at large coming so soon after the Zimbabwean Mbira was recently celebrated by global technology firm Google. Such global recognition of Zimbabwe arts and Culture is testimony that the sector has the potential to contribute significantly to the development of the country”, said the Director.

The NACZ said it truly believed that the BET Award was just the beginning of many such successes in Sha Sha’s career and wished her all the very best for her future endeavours.

Mr Moyo also called upon other creatives in various sectors to take encouragement from this success to continue with their creative work despite the various lockdown conditions that have had to be imposed by the government to limit the spread of the COVID19 disease in the country.

Shasha bagged the gong ahead of of Rema (Nigeria), Celeste (UK), Young T & Bugsey (UK), Hatik (France) and Stacy (France). The 27 year old songstress was born Charmaine Mapimbiro in Bulawayo and was raised in Mutare before she relocated to South Africa where music career has blossomed under the tutelage of Dj Maphorisa.

23 Jun 2020


South African Artist and the co-founder of the Trade Union for Musicians of South Africa (TUMSA), Ernestine Deane will join Zimbabwean Actress Patience Phiri and Music Crossroads Director Melody Zambuko in a ResiliArt discussion assessing the Impact of COVID 19 on Female Creatives: challenges and opportunities for the future on Wednesday 24 June 2020.

The discussion which will be hosted by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe comes against a background of concern about the lockdown effects on women in general who are the primary caregivers in society. It, therefore, aims to look at the particular pressures that female artists have had to face during the covid19 lockdowns.

Running from 1100 to 1230 hours on the Zoom Conferencing platform the dialogue will look at how women have coped with the restrictions in the creative sector and will go further to look at the opportunities that have been availed by the relaxation of lockdown restrictions. This dialogue seeks to come up with ways that women can adopt and adapt to take advantage of the new operating environment to resume or continue their creative work.

Deane is a Singer, Songwriter, Actress, Cultural activist, Heritage artist, Healer and UNESCO Cultural Expert. She will share experiences from South Africa looking at how women can take advantages of opportunities arising from the post COVID era and the new operating environment following the relaxation of lockdown restrictions

Patience Phiri is an Artist and Entrepreneur. In her presentation, she will examine the lessons that female creatives have learnt from the lockdown brought by the COVID-19 disease.Melody Zambuko is the Director of Music Crossroads and she will discuss the COVID 19 Challenges peculiar women artists and how women have managed to continue being creative in the face of these problems.

The ResiliArt Debate is part of a global network of cultural professionals that sheds light on the current state of creative industries through virtual discussions. The devastation brought to the entire culture value chain will have a long-lasting impact on the creative economy. Founded by UNESCO, ResiliArt aims to ensure the continuity of conversations, data sharing, and advocacy efforts long after the pandemic subsides.

The debates are a global response to the health crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus which has seriously affected artists across the world, most of whom were already working part-time, on an informal basis or under precarious contracts before the pandemic. Many creatives are struggling to make ends meet resulting in a global cultural emergency.



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19 Jun 2020


Zimbabwean singer Sha Sha has been nominated in the BET Viewers Choice Best New International Act category. Competing for the same prize is Nigerian singer and rapper Rema, South African superstar Sho Madjozi, Nigerian rapper and Congolese singer-songwriter Innoss’B.

The awards will simulcast live on BET Africa on June 29 at 2am, with the BET Awards Pre-Show at 7pm and BET Awards main show will repeat at 8pm. In its 20th anniversary, the BET Awards continues its reign as the ultimate platform to showcase the best and most beautiful aspects of the Black experience — celebrating Black music’s present and future, and elevating the culture and being a driving force for social change.

This year, United States rapper Drake is dominating the BET Awards with six nods, including Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Video of the Year and two nods for both Best Collaboration and Viewer’s Choice for his features alongside Chris Brown (No Guidance) and Future (Life Is Good).

16 Jun 2020


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) is inviting filmmakers to submit entries for the annual Piton International Film Festival (PIFF) which this year runs online from 18 to 29 August 2020.

PIFF, which normally takes place on the Caribbean Island of St Lucia, is a 12-month programme that focuses on celebrating film-making and seeks to work collaboratively with film makers from around the world.

NACZ has partnered with PIFF to provide local film makers with an opportunity to learn and collaborate with others from across the globe. Locally based filmmakers who will submit their works through the NACZ offices will be availed a discounted entry fee for a maximum of two submissions.

PIFF provides filmmakers with an opportunity to understand the various aspects of the global film industry through workshops and seminars while also assisting independent content creators with opportunities to expose and monetise their artworks.

The NACZ/PIFF partnership aims to discover and expose new filmmaking talent in Zimbabwe through showcasing their works on the PIFF social media sites as well as broadcast on the Sisters in Harmony Network.

Registration is open from now until the 31st of July and for more information including submission rules interested filmmakers can log on to:  https://filmfreeway.com/pitoninternationalfilmfestival or they can contact Farai Kupfavira, fk.kupfavira@gmail.com and Rodney Ruwende, rodney.nacz@gmail.com to submit their entries through NACZ.


01 Jun 2020


The Inaugural Bulawayo Day and Bulawayo Arts Festival scheduled to run from June 1-6 2020, has been postponed to June 2021 as the nation continues on COVID-19 Lockdown Level 2 with restrictions on public gatherings.

In a statement announcing the postponement, City of Bulawayo, Senior Public Relations Officer Nesisa Mpofu, said for the past few weeks they have been working hard, in conjunction with all the partners and stakeholders to explore all avenues to put on this year’s festival, including moving the dates to later in the year.

“However, due to the continuing uncertainty regarding holding of public gatherings, the increasing number of Corona virus-positive cases, the threat to people’s health, and the potential need for an extended period of social distancing, we have taken the collective decision to suspend our 2020 programme as it was planned. We will however still recognise June 1 as Bulawayo Day” She said.

A digital launch will be held together with three special virtual/ online pop-up events from Wednesday 3rd June to Friday 5th June on the Byo Arts Festival & City of Bulawayo Facebook pages. The same programmes will also be posted on the BAF TV Channel on Youtube as delayed content.

Mpofu said the inaugural event was going to run under the theme “WOW” (short for We Own Winter) as all activities were expected to illuminate the usually not so active winter month in Zimbabwe. She added that the virtual launch and footprint will adopt the same theme

“Our fundraising initiatives for Bulawayo Day and Bulawayo Arts Festival have been profoundly affected by the pandemic. Some of our partners have temporarily suspended the funding of activities that fall outside the radar of COVID-19 response mechanisms. Corporates have been severely affected as well, with most recording huge losses and the risk of closure” said Mpofu.

The celebration of Bulawayo Day and the hosting of the Bulawayo Arts Festival aims to provide a stage for new and established artists and enable local and global visitors to participate meaningfully in the cultural life of the city. The event provides an opportunity for Bulawayo to showcase its proud heritage, rich diversity, creative nature, resilience, and majesty. Which aims to put Bulawayo on the global spotlight and encourage its tourism and business.