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29 May 2020


Covid19 and its associated lockdown measures will result in the merging and fusion of different cultural aspects thereby increasing diversity as different communities adopt similar practices to limit the spread of the disease.

These sentiments were expressed by participants during the ResiliArt Zimbabwe debate hosted by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe on Wednesday through the online Zoom Conferencing facility that focused on the impact of Covid19 on Zimbabwean cultural practices.

Participants observed that the disease and the various measures implemented by governments to curb its spread had already created new subcultures including online journalism, music concerts, exhibitions as well as the proliferation of digital engagement platforms.

Great Zimbabwe University lecturer Jasper Maphosa said it was important to realise that Culture is not static but it is dynamic and fluid as certain things that were not allowed a few decades are now allowed, thus there was a need to embrace some of the new emerging subcultures in Zimbabwe.

“COVID 19 has enriched cultural diversity while some practices are being pushed to the periphery. Post the COVID era we are going to live with new rules regarding family gatherings, the way we conduct traditional ceremonies like Nhimbe and burials. COVID is bringing in some universal ways of doing things which are coming to affect the long-held cultural traditions of certain societies”, he said.

Veteran Theatre producer Daves Guzha observed that some cultural practices in Zimbabwe were responsible for the low rate of local transmission of COVID19. He said social distancing has always been practised in Zimbabwe as most communities did not ascribe to the handshake, hugs and kisses when greeting each other.

“The handshake is very transactional. So, greetings were always from a distance. Maingokwazisana muchiomberana maoko Makadii Makadii. (You would great each other with clapping of hands while saying how are you). So COVID 19 is bringing back in a more or less full circle this type of greeting, which is the way we have always greeted each other”, he said.

Traditional healer and Counsellor Sibongile Sokhani highlighted that COVID 19 was threatening the moral fabric of Zimbabwean society as it is creating enemies between family members stuck together during lockdown without access to mediation due to lockdown measures.

“Imagine a situation where the family is stuck with a breadwinner who cannot go to fend for the family and the family has to face hunger and they start looking for scapegoats and blaming each other resulting in hatred and even physical fights, she said.

The ResiliArt Zimbabwe debates are run by NACZ under the auspices UNESCO and seek to find sustainable ways of enhancing creativity in the CCI sector in times of crises.

18 May 2020


The Minister of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation Honorable Kirsty Coventry has launched the 2020 Culture Week with a call for Zimbabweans not to forget their values of Ubuntu/Unhu and continue to co-exist and engage in respectful dialogue, during the lockdown measures being implemented by government to curb the spread of the deadly COVID19 disease.


In a speech broadcast on ZBC News Online and on the Zoom conferencing facility, Minister Coventry said the disease has made an indelible mark in the country and the world over with new cultures and behaviours emerging in order to cope with a new world order, a new normal.


“COVID-19 has affected many of our cultural events like funerals, burials, weddings, and other social practices that bring people together to celebrate or support each other. Thus COVID-19 has challenged some cultural practices and traditions that we had known as part of our existence as the people of Zimbabwe and the world.” She said.


Minister Coventry said that COVID-19 should not lead the people of Zimbabwe to shun their culture.


“As we practice social distancing let us not forget our values of Ubuntu/Unhu. Let us continue to co-exist and engage in respectful dialogue even on social media, where most of us now spend much of our time on, as a result of the lockdown measures. In our Online conversations let us celebrate our cultural diversity as it is the driving force for development.” The Minister said.


This year’s Culture Week includes a discussion on an online discussion entitled “the impact of COVID-19 on traditional Zimbabwean cultural practices” on the Zoom Platform on Wednesday 20 May and a musical concert featuring some of the country’s top artists will be screened on the National Television station ZBC Television as well as on social media platforms on Saturday evening to wrap up the week’s festivities.


In the provinces, online launches will be replicated together with other performances by traditional dance groups and exhibitions of various traditional artefacts, cooking instruments, and traditional apparel. These will also be shared on social media platforms.


Minister Coventry said this year’s Culture was very significant for Zimbabwe, coming at a time when most families are spending a lot of time together due to the national lockdown measures thus providing an opportunity Zimbabweans to appreciate and enhance their knowledge and understanding of their culture.


The theme for Culture Week this year is “Zimbabwe @ 40, celebrating our cultural diversity and heritage.” This dovetails well with the national mood where we are celebrating 40 years of Independence as well as our diverse cultural expressions.


Culture week is timed every year to coincide with the UNESCO World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which falls on the 21st of May every year, and in 2020 this is on Thursday.


The event is designed to allow citizens to appreciate the diversity of the arts and cultures that abound, locally and globally.

17 May 2020


On Monday 18 May 2020 Zimbabwe commences its Culture Week Commemorations, an annual event that is penned to coincide with World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development which was proclaimed by UNESCO and is celebrated every year on the 21st of May by the rest of the world.
An official launch that heralds the start of the week will be hosted by the Minister of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation Honourable Kirsty Coventry on Monday 18 May at 1000 hours via the Zoom online conferencing platform, ZBC news online and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Facebook Page.
Culture week celebrates the cultural diversity depicted by the diverse aesthetic cultural values and norms that define Zimbabweans. The week-long cultural fiesta features various performances, exhibitions, and demonstrations of Zimbabwe’s rich cultural offerings.
The Culture Week events will this year, for the first time, be held exclusively through online platforms as the country is implementing lockdown restrictions on public gathering to curb the spread of the deadly COVID19 disease.
The theme of Culture Week this year is “Zimbabwe @ 40 Celebrating our Cultural Diversity and Heritage” which dovetails with the national mood in which Zimbabwe celebrates 40 years of Independence and enjoyment of diverse cultural expressions.
Main Culture week Events
Monday 18 May 2020, 1000, Official Launch by Minister of Youths Sports Arts and Recreation, Honourable Kirsty Coventry. The launch will be live on Zoom, ZBC News Online, and NACZ Facebook Page.
Wednesday 20 May 2020, 1100, ResiliArt Debate discussing the Impact of COVID-19 on Zimbabwean Cultural practices.
Saturday 23 May 2020, 2130, Culture Week Concert, live on Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation Television and NACZ Facebook Page.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Time: May 18, 2020 10:00 AM Harare
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 780 6673 8846
Password: 4mzL4n
11 May 2020


National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Director Mr Nicholas Moyo, says young people need to play a big role in the protection and mitigation initiatives against the spread of the deadly COVID-19 disease.

Speaking at NACZ head office in Harare while receiving a donation of 50 litres of sanitizer donated to the Council by House of Arts Association, Mr Moyo said youth initiatives at raising awareness using the Arts had become very pertinent especially on Social Media.

“The use of skits and jingles, that young people are producing has become an important tool for raising awareness on COVID 19 as many people rely on Social Media for information. These skits bring encouragement and hope to the people that we can win this fight against COVID-19”. Mr Moyo said.

House of Arts Association is a youth-led arts organisation which was formed in 2015 in Hatcliffe Harare to promote arts activities and at the same time using art as a tool for development.

The Executive Chairperson of the Association Mr Casper Chigama said they had decided to donate the sanitizer for NACZ to use at its offices nationwide so that artists would be sanitized as they visited the Council since the lockdown restrictions have been partially lifted by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“We have been distributing COVID-19 prevention materials like masks and sanitizers in our community and we have been having awareness campaigns, so we thought we could also assist our sector by providing sanitizers to NACZ so they could be able to accept clients who seek their services during this lockdown period”. He said.

The association comprises of youth members who have been active on social media and in the community sending out COVID-19 prevention messages with the support of Dream Town a Danish organisation that works to cultivate the wellbeing of young people.

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.