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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

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.

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.
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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.