Elvas Mari resigns as NACZ director Elvas Mari
Elvas Mari

Elvas Mari

Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
AFTER eight years at the helm, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director Elvas Mari  (pictured) has resigned from his position to pursue other interests outside the artsMari held senior positions in the NACZ since he joined the organisation in January 2002 when he was appointed Assistant Director for Arts Promotion and Development.

He was promoted to the position of Deputy Director in March 2005. He was elevated to the position of Director in November 2009, the position in which he served for eight years before tendering his resignation.

Announcing Mari’s resignation in a statement, NACZ board Chairman Professor Herbert Chimhundu said the former director tendered his resignation last month. “The Board of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) would like to inform all partners, artistes, and arts and culture stakeholders that Mr Elvas Mari has resigned from his position as Director with effect from March 16, 2018. Mr Mari has served the NACZ with distinction for the past 16 years.

“He’s leaving the Arts Council to pursue other interests outside the arts,” said Prof Chimhundu.

Nicholas Moyo, who was Mari’s deputy, will take over in an acting capacity until a substantive director is appointed.

Prof Chimhundu said Mari will be missed for being a visionary in the arts.

“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe will miss Mr Mari’s visionary, strategic and professional leadership which placed a high premium on integrity, servant leadership and good corporate governance.”

He said throughout his term in office, Mari showed great zeal for the arts.

“During his long tenure in various senior positions at the NACZ, Mr Mari demonstrated passion for, and commitment to, development of the arts and he contributed immensely to the transformation and turn around of organisation.”

Mari will be remembered for establishing programmes such as the National Arts Merit Awards (Nama), Jikinya Dance Festival and Culture Week among others to promote the arts in Zimbabwe. He also successfully lobbied government to gazette Statutory Instrument 136 of 2003, which allows artistes to import musical, broadcasting and recording equipment as well as PA systems duty free. Over the years, this has changed the face of the arts and culture sector in Zimbabwe as it has led to growth of the theatre, film, television and music sub-sectors.

Mari also helped introduce a policy to encourage and support the holding of festivals in all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.

“The first provincial arts festival created as a result of this policy by NACZ was Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo in 2004,” Prof Chimhundu said.

As Mari leaves, Prof Chimhundu said: “The NACZ is up to date with its audits and it has been consistently receiving clean audit reports.”

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