TV & Theatre

Savanna Trust pressures government to act on arts policy

Savanna Trust pressures government to act on arts policy

By Showbiz Writer

Arts development organisation, Savanna Trust has pressured government to urgently support with the arts sector with funding to ensure its benefits and potential are realised fully.

In a statement Thursday after hauling three of the for National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) gongs in the theatre category, trust director Daniel Maposa said they were grateful that they had managed to impact on the scene positively albeit in difficult times.

Savanna Trust was awarded the Outstanding Actor, Outstanding Actress and the Outstanding Theatrical Production all for the play Liberation.

Maposa said the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) must be capacitated and transformed to deliver its mandate to the sector. He called upon government through the Ministry of Rural Development, Preservation and Promotion of Cultural Heritage, to fully support Nama financially if they were to remain the leading arts awards in Zimbabwe.

He said he also felt it was time the role of NACZ as a development entity is strengthened through progressive legislation, policies and adequate budgetary support.

“…the Ministry must expedite the appointment of the National Arts Council Board as provided for in the National Arts Council Act. Boards are very important in the governance of an institution as they are the custodians of the vision. Good corporate governance requires that there be an active board that is accountable to authorities and stakeholders,” said Maposa adding that the continuous delay in appointing the board was worrisome to the sector and other stakeholders.

He said the sector had the potential and mandate to contribute meaningfully to job creation, national healing, social cohesion and development but the benefits have been suffocated by government’s failure to create a conducive environment for effective operation of arts organisations.

Maposa said a robust arts and culture policy framework was needed to give pointers in terms of how the sector should grow while setting priorities in the roles of each stakeholder in fulfilling the policy.

He said the formulation of an arts and culture policy had taken too long.

“We urge the government to expedite the formulation of the arts and culture policy, notwithstanding the need to widely consult on the needs of the sector so that it is reflective of the aspirations of the sector. With an acceptable robust arts and culture policy in place, it is our belief that the sector will produce more award winners that are of international standard,” he said.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to urge our government to consider providing funding for the arts and culture sector funding in tandem with developments in other SADC countries. Our government must provide financial support in the form of grants and loans through the NACZ, done in line with the developmental priorities in a cultural policy, with the aim of achieving national goals and aspirations. “

Liberation is a truthful confrontation of power tackling issues head on and urges citizens to participate in shaping their future by dealing with their daily ills.

Maposa expressed gratitude to their financial partner Zimrights “who believed in our capabilities by financially supporting the production of the play Liberation”.

“We are also indebted to our heroes, the witty writer, Leonard Matsa and the affable Director, Bongani Masango, who in difficult circumstances agreed to leave the comfort of his Pretoria home to work with Zimbabwean actors he had not met before. The cast and crew of the play Liberation, those foot soldiers who are never thanked enough implemented the vision that today is making all of us proud,” said Maposa.