Minister calls for investment in arts

Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondent
Minister of Rural Development, the Promotion and Preservation of National Heritage and Culture Abednico Ncube has encouraged the nation to invest in the arts and benefit from beauty and creativity of the sector. Minister Ncube said this while officially opening the second edition of the Zimbabwe Annual exhibition “Mharidzo” at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Mharidzo directly translates to “sermon” and as such, the various ideas of liturgy across a plethora of faiths come to mind and it will run until February next year.

“The mandate of my ministry is, among many things, to see the arts become effective tools to enhance social integration and empowerment. It is through investment in the value chain of the arts that the nation can benefit from beauty and creativity as community livelihoods are improved.

“My ministry is appreciative of the Zimbabwe Annual Exhibition as it provides a platform for the showcasing of good sculpture, painting, mixed media and videography,” he said.

“Mharidzo” seeks to provide an opportunity for resident Zimbabwean artists to tell their story using different mediums.

“The sermon preached to us by these artists through skill positively tells the message of the role of art in safeguarding national culture and heritage. The exhibition seeks to give the artist a platform to hold forth on issues that are close to their hearts nekuparidza.”

Minister Ncube said Mharidzo seeks to integrate the role of the artist in questioning the religious thought that has played a significant part in shaping our society today.

“Spirituality is an important part of the creativity of the artist. We are shaped by what we think, because we believe in something! So do the artists because they are part of us, their story is our story. Religion and faith are part of our culture and heritage. As we change as a society they also change. ‘Mharidzo’ is more than a conversation; calls on us to critically look at the way we now worship. The expressions in the artworks merge with the emotions of the audience to resonate the spirituality of us all,” he said.

“The artists are therefore, ambassadors of their communities and Zimbabwe at large. Besides that, we also able to appreciate art as it add to the joy of society. A happy society is productive.”

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