Mash East supporting arts, culture: Mari

HARARE - Director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (Nacz), Elvas Mari said Mashonaland East Education Provincial Office has shown much support to the arts and culture sector.

Mari said this while addressing delegates at the 2012 Annual Mashonaland East Provincial Merit Awards last week at Marondera High School.

The director urged winners in various arts and culture categories to create employment for their work.

“May I urge you, as the winners of the various awards, not to just take these achievements and archive them in the most secure spaces in your homes, but employ what we in the arts sector have begun dubbing as ‘‘the employment of creative enterprise’’ to ensure you leverage on your varied expertise to improve your livelihoods,”

He said “The ability to be creative and enterprising within the context of excellence is one such marvel that these awards seek to catapult all recipients and indeed those aspiring to be recipients, in terms of improving their livelihood and seeing more than one opportunity as presented by life in these challenging times.”

The Arts Council boss applauded the ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture as a contributor to the country’s economy.

“It is no secret that the ministry is the source of invaluable and immeasurable contribution to the country’s gross domestic product and reduction in unemployment.

For those who may have had the privilege of travel, you will agree with me that nothing best showcases or speaks to people’s way of life than their level of education, participation in sport, and above all, their ability to showcase artworks depicting their way of life. It is on this note that I wish to congratulate your province for hosting these awards, which are pitching our ministry’s activities on a high pedestal.”

On that day Mari said the province was celebrating those who had done well in the education sector in the province who received awards.

“Today we are congregated to celebrate schools, children, teachers, school development committees, parents and education officials that have worked tirelessly and selflessly for the success of the child’s education.

‘‘What we are witnessing today is a culmination of many months and in some cases years of hard work by the partners in the education field. I would like to thank all those who have made this day worthwhile and successful.”  

I am personally humbled that Mashonaland East Education Provincial Office has not only supported the development of arts and culture in its schools, but has been the first to recognise the importance of arts and culture through inviting me as director of National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to be the honoured guest at this important event.”

Mari explained different forms of awards and what is often attached to them. He said, “An award may also simply be a public acknowledgment of excellence, without any tangible token or prize. Awards can be given by any person or institution, although the prestige of an award usually depends on the status of the awarder.

"Usually, awards are given by an organisation of some sort, or the office of an official within an organisation or government.”

Mari acknowledged the work of Provincial Education director Sylvester Matshaka, for Mashonaland East.

He said his mandate as director of Nacz, is to ensure that arts and culture are developed and promoted in and out of school.

“I think all the people here will agree with me that development of arts and culture in Zimbabwe can only succeed if it starts with the young who happen to be found in school.”

Mari said arts and culture are an important part of the nation.

“This is specially important given that the arts and culture are the software of society. Without arts and culture, there is no nation or country.

"We now need to take serious introspection on the form and nature of arts education that we offer in our schools.

Maris said arts education is imperative to society, “Gone are the days when arts education was frowned upon as mashavi or urombe. It is serious business.

"Look at Oliver Mtukudzi, Dominic Benhura, Daves Guzha, Cont Mhlanga, Albert Nyathi and many more who have not known any other work and have succeeded even more than doctors and engineers.

"We need to provide holistic education to our children who recognise the importance of arts and culture.” - Entertainment Writer

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