Tafadzwa Zimoyo Senior Arts Reporter
Government is set to disburse funds through a grant relief programme to assist artists who were affected by the lockdown.
The grants will be disbursed through the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), which has since invited intended beneficiaries to register their names with the council.
The deadline for the submission was yesterday and the beneficiaries should have a NetOne line as the grants will come through the One Money wallet.
In an interview with The Herald Arts and Culture, NACZ director Nicholas Moyo confirmed the development and said the grants were not for established “big” artists in the sector.
“The grants are being managed by the social welfare and they are not a huge amount of money as some might want to think,” said Moyo. “Therefore, the call is for those artists who are so desperate, in need and have been affected during this lockdown process.
“It is a stock take relief by the Ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare whom we are working with. We are still currently assessing the situation and trying by all means to assist the arts sector. Those who have applied must have a registered organisation and their name should have passed through social groups first.” Moyo said they have put an early deadline because the issue is a long process and should be done before the 21 day lockdown passes.
“Artists’ names will have to pass through a thorough vetting process,” he said. “Those who know our offices, have travelled to submit their name, while those who failed because of security reasons have submitted their names through our WhatsApp platform.
They should make sure that their papers are correct and in good order, as their respective associations will be answerable on further queries.
“We are trying our best to help the arts sector.”
Moyo said they had been receiving calls from different denominations of the society and arts groups urging and encouraging NACZ to give artists funds during this lockdown period.
“We have a large number of artists, hence for now we have decided to start with the small groups first before engaging other minorities,” he said. “People need to understand this clearly.”
Moyo applauded artists for being obedient during the on-going lockdown period.