Championing Arts Development
2nd Floor, Education Services Centre, Upper East Street, Mt Pleasant, Harare
Mon-Fri 08:00 - 16:30
22 Jan 2023


The Board of Directors, Management, and Staff of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe have received the news of the death of NAMA Legend Mbuya Stella Chiweshe with a heavy heart and would like to express their deepest condolences to her family for her untimely departure.

Stella Chiweshe is a true legend of Zimbabwe’s Cultural and Creative Sector, having served as the country’s cultural brand ambassador. Undoubtedly Zimbabwe’s Queen of Mbira and one of the country’s leading cultural exports, Mbuya Chiweshe was a pioneering artist who accompanied her swooping vocals on Mbira, taking the traditional Zimbabwean Shona music to the international stage.

She was born on July 8, 1946, in Mujumi Village, in Mhondoro, and was taught to play the mbira by her mother’s uncle in the 1960s, at a time when it was forbidden for a woman to play the instrument. Her recording career started with the release of the single “Kasahwa,” which achieved gold status after she clinched a recording deal with Teal Records. In 1979, she formed her own “Earthquake Band” to promote her recordings, which were being poorly marketed by the record company.

In 1980, she joined the National Dance Company of Zimbabwe as a Mbira soloist, actress, and dancer. With this group, she performed in Mozambique, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, India, China, and Korea. In 1986, she introduced the marimba for Mbira music, thus pioneering in this field by combining Mbira with marimba’s traditional instruments, and she took the combination to the international stage.

Her career, which spanned over 40 decades, included being part of the 1987 Beat Apartheid Road Festival in Germany, while between 1992 and 1993 she toured Greece, Turkey, and most of Europe. In 1994, she played solo in front of more than 10,000 people at the Womad Festival in North America. She was part of the “Global Divas” tour in the United States of America in 1998, and in the following year, she featured in a collaboration project with the Dimensions Dance Theatre in Oakland (USA), as well as performing at the World Music Festival (Hungary) and the Kalaka Festival (Slovenia). In 2006, she had solo concerts in England, Italy, and Germany. She also participated in the WOMAD festival in Caceres, Spain.

Mbuya Stella Chiweshe received various local and international awards for her musical exploits, including the 1993 Billboard Music Award for the Adult/Alternative/World Music Album of the Year for “Kumusha,”  the National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) in 2006 for the most outstanding female artist in Zimbabwe, and the NAMA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2020 in recognition of her contribution to the Zimbabwean music sector and her innovativeness. In 2021, she was one of the 40 recipients of the NAMA Legend Awards in celebration of the country’s 40 years of independence.

The late Mbira maestro has left an endearing legacy for the sector, in particular in traditional music circles, as she excelled using a uniquely Zimbabwean instrument. It is imperative that stakeholders and practitioners take advantage of Mbira’s listing on the UNESCO list of intangible cultural heritage for humanity in 2020 to craft interventions aimed at improving knowledge of playing, manufacturing, and marketing the instrument.

The nation is deeply indebted to Mbuya Stella Chiweshe for her selfless work in spreading the Zimbabwean culture across the globe in an illustrious career spanning over four decades.

May her soul rest in peace.

Issued by





05 Jul 2022



The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation Dr Thokozile Chitepo says the Government is committed to supporting the implementation of the Zimbabwe Film Strategy.

Dr Chitepo told members of the Zimbabwe Film Strategy National Team in Harare recently that the government recognised that film had the potential to contribute meaningfully to the national economy, create employment and be an important tool for marketing the country’s image.

“Film will also be a critical component as a means of achieving the Upper Middle-Income Society that is spelt out in Vision 2030 as well as in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr Chitepo urged the National Team in time for consideration for the 2023 budget so that some of the issues can be considered for government funding in the next fiscal year.

“If you develop the strategy in time, we will be able to take some of the items that require funding to the treasury for next year which will give the implementation a boost and we can start seeing some of the results in the earliest possible time,” she said.

The permanent secretary said the development of the Film strategy dovetails with the ambitions of the National Development Strategy One, which recognises culture as having the power to transform entire societies, strengthen local communities, foster strong family values and forge a sense of national identity and belonging for people of all ages”.

“Film can capture important national symbols, music, language, national history, consciousness, and cultural artefacts for easy mental recognition and preservation by the people of Zimbabwe and others who watch Zimbabwean-produced films.

In this regard, the Film strategy must guide the implementation of the government’s strategy of increasing investment in film and audio-visual, music, theatre, and visual arts for commercialisation and industry growth.

The film strategy comes against the background of the recently launched African Film Industry Report by UNESCO, which has shown that Southern Africa is still lagging in terms of film output and consumption compared to the other film markets on the continent. The report also shows that the continental film and audio-visual sector remains historically and structurally underfunded, underdeveloped, and undervalued, generating the only US $5 billion in annual revenue out of a potential US $20 billion.

The National Team which comprises creatives in the local film sector was selected by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to craft the sector strategy to respond to the challenges affecting the local industry, which include the largely informal nature of operations by players, piracy and illegal exploitation of audio-visual content, as well as a lack of clear distribution infrastructure.

The induction workshop for the national team was designed to equip the team members with the tools for gathering information and operational guidelines in drafting the strategy.

The film strategy follows the successful launch of the Zimbabwe Music strategy last month and is being informed by the situation on the ground in the local film industry, which is currently experiencing increased participation of women behind and in front of the camera, the licensing of new television stations, and the new ability to monetise online content on social media platforms like YouTube, Netflix, and other prospective local mobile video services.




05 Jul 2022


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe has commenced the process of drafting a strategy for the Zimbabwe Film Sector, which is expected to lead to the revitalisation and expansion of the sector.

NACZ Executive Director Mr Nicholas Moyo says the Film Strategy follows the successful launch of the Zimbabwe Music Strategy on the 1st of June 2022 and is part of the NACZ vision of having different Cultural and Creative Sector (CCS) strategies produced in the mold of the National Cultural and Creative Industries Strategy (NCCIS) launched by the government in 2020.

“The NACZ is leveraging on the expertise obtained by its team comprising staff and CCS practitioners in the crafting of the Music Strategy to develop the Film Strategy as well as the Visual, literary and other sector strategies in the immediate future,” Mr Moyo said.

The Executive Director added that Film and Television had become the second sector to have a strategy developed following the realisation that the production and distribution of film and audio visual works is one of the most dynamic growth sectors in the world with a huge potential for attracting commercial investment and capacity employ a large number of youths and women in high-skilled jobs.

According to the latest UNESCO African Film Industry Report, the film sector accounts for over US$5 billion in revenues and employs over 5 million across the African Continent with a potential to generate $US 20 billion and employ up to 20 million people.

“The Film strategy is meant to respond to the challenges bedeviling the local industry which include the largely informal nature of operations by players, piracy and illegal exploitation of audio-visual content as well as a lack of clear distribution infrastructure,” Mr Moyo said.

The strategy is expected to leverage the increased participation of women behind and in front of the camera, the licensing of new television stations and the new ability to monetise online content on social media platforms YouTube, Netflix and other prospective local mobile video services.

Mr Moyo added that the preliminary stage of the film strategy development began in May with the hosting of a stakeholders roundtable in Harare which attracted over 35 practitioners in the Film and Television sector from the different provinces in the country.

“The roundtable examined the state of the film sector in Zimbabwe, the expectations for the strategy drafting process and submitted nominations for the National Team members who will be tasked with the production of the strategy”, the Executive Director said.

Meanwhile 23 prominent Filmmakers and academics have been selected for the National Team tasked with the actual crafting of the strategy. The team members are:

  1. Baya Raisedon
  2. Bunga Joseph
  3. Chatiza Knox
  4. Chidzonga Munyaradzi
  5. Chigorimbo Stephen
  6. Chikomo Kudzai
  7. Chikonzo Kelvin (Dr)
  8. Dangarembga Tsitsi
  9. Guzha Daves
  10. Katedza Rumbidzai
  11. Kunonga Marian
  12. Mahaka Ben
  13. Matema Nakai
  14. Matope Ignatius
  15. Mhiripiri Nhamo (Professor)
  16. Mhlanga Cont
  17. Munganasa Charles
  18. Mutambira Antony
  19. Njagu Joe
  20. Ranganawa Amanda
  21. Sithole Priscila
  22. Tenton Richard
  23. Zhuwarara Rino (Dr)
16 Jun 2022


The Minister of Youth Sport, Arts and Recreation Honourable Dr Kirsty Coventry officially launched the Zimbabwe Music Strategy saying it will go a long way in promoting the arts sector.

Speaking at the launch of the new initiative held at The Venue in Avondale Harare on the 1st of June 2022, Dr Coventry said the move was an important milestone within the local music industry.

“The strategy will add value to artists and the world would be able to recognise our artists’ talent. It is our job to create enabling environments for all of you (artists) to succeed,” said the Minister.

The strategy, Dr Coventry said, will help to ensure there is a sustainable music industry in the country.

The Director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Mr Nicholas Moyo said the strategy seeks to transform the music industry from informal to the formal sector.

“We want to ensure that the creative sector, music sector, in particular, is industrialised. This Zimbabwe Music Strategy will ensure reliable and profitable harnessing of digital environments for the music sector”, the Director said.

Mr Moyo added that the strategy will also ensure that music practitioners, and professionals, become part of the people that are in the middle-income group.

“The music industry is evolving rapidly internationally, with a growing appetite for African music. The strategy will enhance the protection of intellectual property, and related rights, in the music sector”, he said

Mr Moyo said the Government will consider a funding quota for female-led initiatives.

“Another pillar of the strategy is to utilise music as a tool for enhancing the country’s image and harnessing the Zimbabwean diaspora for consumption and investment in the sector,” he said.

The chairperson of the Association of Independent Record Companies of South Africa, Mr Mandla Maseko congratulated Zimbabwe for launching the strategy and said there were high hopes it would boost the music industry.

The launch of the strategy marked the conclusion of a two-year project called “Strategy for the sustainable development of Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) in Zimbabwe” run by the NACZ with the support of the European Union/UNESCO Expert Facility on the Governance of Culture in Developing Countries.


30 Dec 2021


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) has expressed sadness following news of the death of veteran football administrator, Actor and Events Director (Master of Ceremony), Ndumiso Gumede (76).

In a statement NACZ Director Mr Nicholas Moyo said Gumede was a prolific actor who featured in several local film and television productions.

“He first got involved in acting through the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) radio dramas where he was part of the cast of “Sakhelene Zinini” written by legendary broadcasters Harry Nleya and Amon Nyamambi.” Moyo said.

Gumede who appeared in several stage plays and films is credited with choreographing the uprising song in the 1987 epic drama film, “Cry Freedom”, directed and produced by Richard Attenborough.

In front of the camera, his major break came when he landed the role of a priest counselling a new couple on how to avoid catching HIV in “Xola” written by Busi Dlodlo. He then appeared in several other local productions including “More Time” in 1993 where he played the role of Baba Ncube.

In 2000, Gumede played the role of Coach in “Yellow Card” directed by John Riber with Leeroy Gopal as the main actor also featuring the late Lazarus Boora “Gringo”.

Mr Moyo said Gumede was also an entertaining Master of Ceremony who entertained guests and livened up events whenever he took charge of the microphone.

“The death of Ndumiso Gumede has robbed the nation of a multi-talented individual who excelled in acting where his natural flair and passion brought a sense of reality to the parts he played on screen. His untimely demise painfully came at a time when he had become a fountain of wisdom for many upcoming artists who looked up to him for advice and inspiration in their careers,” the Director said.

Gumede passed away in Bulawayo from suspected hypertension problems.

10 Nov 2021


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) encourages stakeholders in the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) who intend to submit their works for consideration for the 20th NAMA to be held in February 2022 that the deadline for the submission of works remains the 30th of November 2021.

There will be no extension to this deadline and works submitted after it has lapsed will not be considered. We would like to remind production houses, studios, stables, galleries, organisations, associations, groups, artists and monitors that they can submit their entries physically at designated submission points or online through the NACZ Website.

The collection of entry forms and submission of entries can be done at the NACZ Head office, Provincial offices, Murewa Culture Centre and any of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe offices in Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare.

Online entry forms can be downloaded at while entries can be submitted through the link: (

All entries must be accompanied by the artiste’s product(s) in the form of videotapes, cassettes, flash drives, CDs, pictures or books. Where it is not possible to submit artworks online, they may still be submitted in person at the above-listed places for use in the adjudication.

Please also note that consideration of selection will only be given to artworks published by Zimbabwean citizens or those with Zimbabwean resident status in the past 2 years covering the period from 1st December 2019 to 30th November 2021.

Individuals submitting works for NAMA are encouraged to supply three sets of the particular works/production to assist adjudicators, except where the product is from the visual arts category. The NAMA disciplines that are adjudicated are dance, film, literary arts, theatre, music, visual arts, media and spoken word.

The 20th NAMA will be a historic occasion hosted under the theme Zimbabwe and Beyond #amalevels celebrating artists who are waving the flag of Zimbabwe high across various artistic disciplines both locally and beyond our borders.

05 Nov 2021


National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Director Mr Nicholas Moyo says planning processes for the Cultural and Creative Sector (CCS) must bear in mind the government expectations of the sector to contribute meaningfully to the economic development of the country.

Officially opening the 2022 Strategic Planning Review Workshop being attended by Senior Management, Provincial Arts Managers and Head Office staff in Bulawayo Mr Moyo said the NACZ must consider the long term goals of the Arts sector in Zimbabwe by addressing its current and future challenges.

Mr Moyo said the planning process was being conducted against a background of increased prominence that the government was giving to the Cultural and Creative Industries as evidenced by its economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1(NDS1) that outlines the importance of the CCS to national development.

“NDS1 envisages increasing the level of local consumption of cultural, sport and recreation products and services from 15% in 2020 to 40% by 2025. This strategy we are working on for the next four days must thus provide the framework for understanding, preserving, managing, integrating, interpreting and promoting heritage and strengthening family values both in the immediate and long-term future,” he said.

The director said strategic planning is critical for the growth of any institution as it provided a framework of operations to meet set objectives and targets. He said the planning process was also designed to meet the stakeholder’s expectation for NACZ to submit the reviewed strategic documents by 30 December 2021.

“Your presence here demonstrates the seriousness with which NACZ approaches its responsibilities to the different stakeholders and this strategic review workshop is very crucial as it determines how we will operate in our different roles in the fulfilment of our mandate.

The Strategic planning workshop follows the launch of the National Cultural and Creative Industries Strategy (NCCIS) which dovetails with the NDS1 in articulating the policy objectives of the government with relation to the CCIs.

Mr Moyo said the NCCIS buttresses the direction of NDS1 by outlining the roadmap to guide the development and growth of the CCIs by identifying ten pillars that position the sector as pivotal for national economic development and employment creation.

“Our planning processes ladies and gentlemen must be guided by these two important policies that bear testimony to the fact that government considers the sector to be a critical cog in the matrix of attaining the Upper Middle-Income Economy and in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”, he said.

The Director said the strategy being developed must create a roadmap for the Digitisation, Industrialisation and Professionalization (DIP) of the CCI sector in Zimbabwe to enable players to take advantage of the government’s policy directives to contribute significantly to national development.

23 Aug 2021


The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) would like to advise stakeholders in the Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) including production houses, studios, stables, galleries, organisations, associations, groups, artists, monitors and/or that the period for the submission of entries for the 20th National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) will be open from the 1st of September to the 30th of November 2021.

Consideration of selection for the 20th edition of NAMA to be held in February 2022, will only be given to artworks published in the past 2 years covering the period from 1st December 2019 to 30th November 2021. ONLY Zimbabwean citizens or those with Zimbabwean resident status can enter their work. Practitioners that have outstanding works published during the stated period can submit them at the following:

  • NACZ Head office in Mount Pleasant, Harare.
  • NACZ Provincial offices (Harare, Bulawayo, Mutare, Gweru, Masvingo Lupane, Gwanda, Bindura, Chinhoyi and Marondera).
  • Murewa Culture Centre,
  • National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Harare, Bulawayo and Mutare

Entry forms can also be obtained from any of the above offices, registered Arts Associations and, Organisations in Zimbabwe. In addition, Online Entries can be submitted through the link: ( Entry forms can also be accessed through the NACZ website: For online submissions, supporting materials may still need to be submitted in person at the above-listed places for use in the adjudication.

All entries must be accompanied by the artiste’s product(s). These could be in the form of videotapes, cassettes, flash drives, CDs, pictures or books. Individuals submitting works for NAMA are encouraged to supply three sets of the particular works/production to assist adjudicators, except where the product is from the visual arts category. The NAMA disciplines that are adjudicated are dance, film, literary arts, theatre, music, visual arts, media and spoken word.

NAMA recognizes outstanding achievements within the arts sector by rewarding excelling artists. The awards seek to encourage creativity and excellence in the quality of the arts, inspire artists to strive for higher and original forms of creativity and provide an opportunity for arts disciplines to jointly market and publicize their products locally, regionally and internationally.

05 Aug 2021


Zimbabwean company, Gesh23 Productions has teamed up with Uganda’s King Paul Media Entertainment (KPM) to produce a short film titled “Find Me”.

The film, a product of the inaugural NACZ/PIFF Africa 2021 Film Festival, was penned by Ugandan Paul Ssebata and is to be directed by comedian Madlela Sikhobokhobo.

The producer of the film, Award-Winning filmmaker Marshal Mpofu of Bulawayo based Gesh 23 Productions said the collaboration is the beginning of many such enterprises which will see his company producing films written by Ssebata.

“The NACZ/PIFF is the one that made us meet with Paul. It provided a platform where we shared our experiences on filmmaking and from those discussions we came up with this strategy where he writes films and we cast and produce them in Zimbabwe” he said.

The collaboration will work on the strengths of the Ugandans in scriptwriting and storytelling while Gesh23 will utilise its strength to cast and produce the films.

Ssebata said the partnership will help in promoting culture between both countries and attract tourists to visit Africa after watching content from filmmakers that tell stories of Africa.

“Furthermore, this will also allow us to connect with the international market, increase the education and level of film production in Uganda, Zimbabwe and Africa at large,” he said.

NACZ/PIFF Africa Coordinator Ms Farai Kupfavira, who is also the Provincial Arts Manager for the Midlands province welcomed the partnership and said she expected more collaborations to come out of the continental film showcase.

“This is a stepping stone not only for both NACZ and PIFF but also for the country at large. We hope this partnership will grow and spur further success for the Cultural and Creative Industry not only in Zimbabwe and Uganda, but the whole of Africa as represented by participants in the festival,” she said.

The president/founder of UCCI the parent company of PIFF Global and PIFF Africa, Ed “Umoja” Herman said he was overjoyed to see the collaboration efforts between companies from different countries in Africa moving forward positively.

“The collaboration that is now underway between KPM Entertainment in Uganda and Gesh 23 Production in Zimbabwe shows that the work we set out to do is having positive results as PIFF Africa. We hope this is the first of many to come,” he said.

“Find Me,” tells the story of a couple that experiences a bad beginning to their marriage. The wife mysteriously disappears leaving everyone thinking the husband had something to do with her disappearance. It chronicles the story of the husband’s investigation to find out the truth about what happened to his wife.

The short film will be shot in and around Bulawayo featuring a cast of Award-winning Actors including Antonate Sango, Marshal Mpofu, Ben Chest, Bhekimpilo Makhwelo and other supporting actors.