Nyore Madzianike Senior Arts Reporter
IT is good news that Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry has publicly announced that Government will soon inject money into the Arts Development Fund (ADF), which will be administered by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.
Her announcement came nearly 16-years after the fund last received something in its coffers sometime in 2003 before it faltered six years later.
As the arm of the Government, which was trusted to take care of the fund, NACZ seemed to have been folding its hands over the years, resulting in some artistes losing faith in it.
According to Minister Coventry, the ADF will create investment drivers and platforms to develop the arts industry.
It is common cause that the council has employed officers, who have been trusted to stir development of the arts in the country, but questions remain: Does the council, as an arm of Government, have the capacity to mobilise enough resources to develop the arts industry?
Has the council identified areas of investment in the arts, and how much does the council require to fund the initiatives?
Does the Government have faith in artistes considering that all the initiatives will start from ground level?
NACZ deputy director Josiah Kusena revealed that Government will soon inject $200 000 into the ADF, which will be the vehicle for investment in arts.
Kusena also told The Herald Arts that the Government will soon unveil the funding.
“The Government of Zimbabwe, this time around, is the initial source and provider of the seed money amounting to $200 000 that will be committed to kick-start the Fund in the very near future.
“Going forward, NACZ will be active on the ground fundraising through engagement with the donor community, corporate sector, non-governmental organisations, fund raising activities, appeal for donations, and NACZ investments.
“The ADF will become a basket funding, which is all sectors inclusive in approach and will cater for all the segments of the arts sector.
“The ADF will be a flagship entry point for the donor and corporate community to channel funding into the arts sector.
Kusena revealed that his organisation has identified areas of investment and they will prioritise availing loans, scholarships and grants to artists across all sectors.
“NACZ has huge faith in investing in artists because past experiences have shown that artists made good use of the funds availed to them and did not default in their payments,” he said.
The Fund was launched on May 20, 2000 and was later shelved at the height of the past economic meltdown sometime in 2009.