HARARE-The Ministry of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation has bid farewell to Mr. Demir Dijakovic, the outgoing United Nations Education Scientific Cultural Organisation Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO ROSA) Cultural Advisor who has retired.
Speaking at a farewell ceremony held at the Ministry’s offices in Harare, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Thokozile Chitepo said Mr. Dijakovic was a visionary culture expert who had a passion for promoting arts and cultural issues.
‘Demir would come to my office with big ideas and he always brought a vision of how things should be done to improve arts and culture issues. He was very persistent in pushing arts issues and some of them we are already implementing as government,’ she said.
Dr. Chitepo said some of the things that Dijakovic advocated for that the ministry is now implanting include the collection of data on cultural indicators, the introduction of a Monitoring and Evaluation department within the ministry and the crafting of new legislation on culture.
“Government has seen the importance of these issues that Demir was passionate about. For example, there is a need to come up with an act of parliament to protect the country’s cultural heritage and a study thus needs to be carried out to assess the substantive issues on why Zimbabwe needs such a piece of legislation,” the permanent secretary said.
The Director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Mr. Nicholas Moyo commended the outgoing Cultural Advisor for his diligence and passion in dealing with Arts and Culture issues. He said the council dealt directly with Mr. Dijakovic on matters of the UNESCO 2005 Convention Quadrennial Periodic Report (QPR) which details a country’s progress in promoting cultural issues over four years.
“Demir had clarity for all the cultural policies and protocols. We used to call him a push manager because he would phone you when you have nothing to say and by the end of the call you would have something to say” said Mr. Moyo.
The reception was also attended by the Minister of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation, Dr. Kirsty Coventry, Chief Director Dr. Benson Martin, Dube, NACZ Board Chairman Professor Herbert Chimhundu, National Gallery of Zimbabwe Executive Director, Mrs. Doreen Sibanda and other Ministry officials.