African leaders urged to capacitate, support creatives

25 May, 2022 - 00:05 0 Views
African leaders urged to  capacitate, support creatives Raisedon Baya

The Chronicle

Mbulelo Mpofu/Angela Sibanda, Showbiz Reporters

TODAY, Zimbabwe joins the rest of the continent in celebrating Africa Day.

This celebration is meant to shine spotlight on Africa’s strong cultural identity and common heritage.

African Unity Day, also known as Africa Day is celebrated annually on May 25.

Organisation of African Unity (OAU)

It commemorates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on this day in 1963.

The theme for this year’s commemorations is “Strengthening Resilience in Nutrition and Food Security on the African Continent: Strengthening Agro-Food Systems, Health and Social Protection Systems for the Acceleration of Human, Social and Economic Capital Development”.

Various creatives from across genres who spoke to Chronicle Showbiz shared what the day means to them and how they would like to see it being commemorated.

Cont Mhlanga

Outspoken playwright and author Cont Mhlanga said the day should bring to remembrance the very foundations of Africa Day with emphasis on pan-African ideologies.

He went on to urge African leaders to capacitate creatives and support their work.

“Africa Day should make us remember who we are as a people.

The challenge is to play an active role in telling the African story to the world.

It’s high time Africa stood up and be counted.

For that to happen, leaders should capacitate creatives and support their work to carry forward pan-African ideologies to the world,” suggested Mhlanga.

He added that there is a need for writers to educate young people about the day.

“There’s not enough literature on our culture as evidenced in violent conduct and acts against humanity that we sometimes exhibit.

We don’t have enough indigenous literature that speaks of the importance of a united Africa.

Writers aren’t doing enough to educate young people about the foundation and importance of this day.

This is a time for unity irrespective of colour and race. As long as you’re African, you have to be proud of your culture, origins, and colour,” he said.

Concurring with Mhlanga, Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo director Raisedon Baya said there is a need for more to be done in the arts industry to promote Africanism.

Intwasa Arts Festival

“The arts are a reflection of us, our daily struggles and wins.

Their importance should be daily, not to wait for Culture Month, Africa Day, or that occasional culture day at school.

The arts must be used to teach people Pan-Africanism, Afrocentrism, and other African-related concepts.

It should not be about dancing traditional dances and wearing African attires. It should be more,” Baya said.

“We should be celebrating the diversity and beauty of Africa through the arts, finding common things to celebrate.”

Renowned musician Vusa Mkhaya emphasised the need to embrace diverse artforms as “our identity”.

“Our culture, tradition, and music are our identity.

Without them, we are nothing.

We need to fuse our culture whenever we do our music so as to better represent ourselves when we perform abroad. As Zimbabweans we should be proud of who we are.

We shouldn’t copy foreign cultures and if we do things our way, no one will mistake us for foreign acts,” said Mkhaya.

Ntando Van Moyo

Comedian and director of Umahlekisa Comedy Club Ntando Van Moyo said the day gives artistes a platform to control the narrative of African stories.

“The day is very significant for us as humour practitioners because it gives us the opportunity to tell our own stories in our own way and in our own languages. We also get to shape the narrative of our own stories and experiences,” Van Moyo said.

He said they have organised an event for the commemoration of the day at Njube suburb that will feature a number of poets.

Said Sox The Poet: “Being African is being yourself and celebrating diversity knowing that in our vast differences, diverse histories and different aspirations, we are one and should therefore celebrate as one.

“Africa Day is about celebrating how diverse African culture is.

We have poetic styles that speak to Africanism either through delivery, language or presentation.

We also have the realisation that culture being dynamic means the way we did things in the old might not be the only African way to do things today.”

Meanwhile, various events have been organised in Bulawayo to commemorate the day.

Asaph

An Africa Day Carnival has been slated for Something Inside (Burnside) today where artists Asaph, Bhekiwe, Ganyaz, Vuyo and the Travellers Band are billed to perform.

Later today, revellers are set to get a glimpse of South African Amapiano duo Amaroto (Reece Madlisa and Zuma) who are billed to perform at BAC Leisure.

Another event will be held tomorrow at Bulawayo Methodist High School in Makokoba.

There will be guest appearances from Pathisa Nyathi and Madlela Skhobokhobo with entertainment set to be provided by Khaya Arts, Moyoxide and Umqemani the Poet.

People in Umzingwane will not be left out as they will celebrate the day with an Umzingwane Isiko Festival. The event will feature traditional dances, drama sketches, maskandi music, gospel music and poetry competitions. Iyasa will be the guest entertainment group. – @eMKlass_49

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