Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
The Chief Executive officer of United Refineries, Busisa Moyo whose company has been the principal sponsors of the three past editions of the Bulawayo Arts Awards, has said it is time for people to think beyond having their company as the awards’ biggest funders.
It has been five years since the Bulawayo Arts Awards were established with this year’s ceremony slated for 28 August.
United Refineries through their Roil Cooking oil brand has been the principal sponsor since 2018.
Asked whether they would be sponsoring this year’s event, Moyo said: “Let’s think beyond United Refineries because we always knew that we wouldn’t be able to carry the full load of the awards. Remember this is part of the marketing activities for us, so we do have a limited marketing budget.”
Moyo said for the past two years, his aim was to work with other big companies in Bulawayo to make the load lighter for them.
“I think that we should reach out to other companies in the city. Okay, they aren’t doing so well with Covid-19 and all but even individuals and our diasporans who listen to artistes from home and so on can come to the party. Let’s think beyond us (United Refineries), let’s be a bigger collective and do things as a group as opposed to one entity, I’d really encourage that,” Moyo said.
He said his company’s role in taking the arts awards to high level will be worth it if it attracts other players.
“This is what I have been asking for during the past two years so that we have other big corporate sponsors involved,” said Moyo.
He said the more companies involved in the hosting of the awards, the better for the artistes.
“Roil is a product of Bulawayo. We don’t want to hog the limelight or be the only ones. We want to share with other corporates so that they can benefit and profile artistes. It will free us up. For example, I am company X and I will sponsor the stage and the lights, and I’m company Y, we are doing the gongs.
“Then us as United Refineries can say we can build a house for an artiste or buy them a car,” said Moyo.
For now, Moyo said they have not committed to sponsoring this year’s awards.
“We haven’t met with the partners to find out what they are thinking. We normally announce (the awards date) once we have a meeting with them. I can’t say that (we’re committing to sponsoring the awards), at this stage. We are very committed to the arts and we will always be involved in any shape or form,” said Moyo.