Tafadzwa Muzondo makes history
By Silence Charumbira
Tafadzwa Muzondo has made history and will go down in memory as one of the greatest ever thespians to hail from the high density suburb of Highfields.
This comes as his dream to change the Machipisa footbridge into an arts space came to fruition Friday with the ground breaking ceremony that will set the ball rolling in the creation of a theatre stage at the famous but hugely unpopular space.
Speaking at the ceremony Friday afternoon, speaker after speaker hailed the efforts by Muzondo that even before the theatre starts functioning, have seen the filth infested bridge being cleaned up of the exhibit of the worst of vices that made it unusable for several years.
It was a marvel, apart from the glorifying speeches, to see school kids; the majority of whom were not even born when the bridge was last used running up and down the concrete structure exuding so much joy at the new found ‘toy’.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe director Elvas Mari who was the guest of honour implored the city of Harare to consider more similar partnerships with arts organisations and groupings so as to rehabilitate recreational spaces for the social and economic benefit.
Mari said the initiative was in line with their plan to get spaces from council as well as to have artistes be agents of change and development.
“True Mr Muzondo and your team are going to be using this space but you have dealt with an environmental threat to the residents of Highfield. I am very thankful because this space was unusable and people found it difficult to pass this place but I have walked on the bridge and it is pleasant. It is good artistes have a social responsibility,” he said.
He said artistes should not only be known to entertain the people but should collaborate for economic development.
Mari said if council was to partner with artistes they would make it easier for Harare to be a world class city by 2025.
“There is no world class city that does not have arts. World class cities are known for the arts and culture that are made known through music, theatre, film, sculpture and many other trades of that nature,” he said.
“As council we would like to pledge our support so that this place becomes popular like other famous places where productive development takes places for the benefit of Highfield residents.”
Standing in for acting director housing and community development at the City of Harare Mrs Kwembeya acknowledged the efforts by Muzondo and his Edzai Isu for assisting the City Fathers in their bid to achieve a world class city status by 2025.
“We welcome this development because we know it comes with a social economic package for the residents,” she said.
She said the move would also aid township tourism efforts by the city as the place has been rid of used condoms and other forms of litter and urged other arts groups to emulate Muzondo.
Muzondo said they already have an action plan for the next one month where they expect arts productions to have started before the end of November.
“The bridge is going to be instrumental in the facilitation of dialogue between the residents and the authorities. Such issues are also mutual and it is not necessarily the office bearers who have questions to answer. Sometimes the office bearers have to be accorded a chance to report or respond to questions and I believe the bridge will come in handy in that process,” he said.
Entertainment at the event was provided by Brezhnev Guvheya and Muzondo who collaborated in a poem where the later assumed the name Nyanduri Nyandoro and another short theatre piece by Everson Ndlovu and Guvheya while vibrant poet Mbizo Chirasha did two pieces.
Also In attendance were acting assitant director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe William Ndinde, musician Evans Sekete, Edzai Isu board chair Patience Gamu Tawengwa, journalist Valentine Maponga who was the master of ceremonies and several others.