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Mnangagwa and wife to grace arts indaba

by Staff Reporter
22 Nov 2019 at 10:24hrs | Views
President Mnangagwa and the First Lady are expected to be guests of honour during the Ease of Doing Business (EOBD) in the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) in Zimbabwe conference slated for Bulawayo.

Albert Nyathi, a renowned poet and writer, is leading the artistes organising the event, that is expected to bring together Government representatives and private sector stakeholders.  

It will be held from 29 to 30 November at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, under the theme "Leveraging Arts, Culture and Heritage for Enhanced Productivity, Job Creation and Economic Growth".  

The conference's theme aligns with the 2020 national budget theme "Gearing for Higher Productivity, Growth and Job Creation."  

Actress and modelling guru Sarah Mpofu-Sibanda said at a Press briefing at the gallery yesterday that the First Lady will attend the first day of the event with expectations that the President will join on the following day.

The conference will focus on the business side of the arts sector such as to outline the administrative, policy and legislative reforms critical for the EODB in the CCIs value chain.

Also, the conference will explore opportunities for export of Zimbabwean art content regionally and internationally and to outline mechanisms to strengthen the intellectual property rights regime to lock and retain the value of CCIs. 

Speaking at the same briefing, Nyathi said: "As artistes we have been waiting for such an opportunity to talk to the highest office for a long time. We shall take full advantage of this opportunity to meet them."

He said the First Lady was in particular touched by the welfare of local artistes such as the late actress Pretty Xaba and lately, Gringo.

"In terms of the welfare of artistes, she spoke a lot about Pretty. She said to me I read and I watch news, the Pretty Xaba-thing and Gringo-thing and others that have happened really demand that we pay attention," said Nyathi.

Xaba died in 2014 after a long battle with cancer of the oesophagus. Her death came after friends fundraised for her treatment in India that year.

This year, when actor Gringo fell ill, due to appendicitis, he too had to be rescued by well-wishers who raised money for his hospital bill. The First Lady visited Gringo and gave him various goodies.

Saimon Mambazo Phiri said they were taking the opportunity with both hands as the Head of State was a listening President.

"We want dialogue with the presidium because we believe that decisions will be made or polices that are tangible can be changed. We're lucky to have a listening President and we'd like him to come and listen like he did with other sectors. Half the time people (government officials) are going to these forums and they are taking notes. But we don't feel that they are listening. We've seen the President listen to other sectors of the economy and we want the same," said Mambazo.  

He added: "The way we have structured the conference is that over the two days we start in the morning and end by midday, because we have other business to attend to. So, after the first day the ministries present will go and caucus on their own and bring results the next day."  

The conference comes after a workshop held by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in October this year called the Creative and Cultural Industries (CCIs) stakeholders' consultation workshop in Harare.

The workshop brought together representatives of the arts sector in dialogue with Government departments, agencies and other private sector stakeholders.

Source - Chronicle

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