Artists urged to secure funding

HARARE - Tanzania National Arts Council executive secretary, Ghonche Materego spoke on funding during the National Arts Council Culture Indaba in Masvingo.

The indaba kicked off on Wednesday to discuss the way forward on the industry’s future.

Materego spoke on funding and the similarities between the Tanzanian industry and the Zimbabwean creative trade.

He said despite all the challenges they faced, the Tanzanian system would from next year start treating arts as a formal industry in order to rate how much revenue it contributed to the economy.

“It is intended that from January 2013, government will formalise the music and film industry. The council is highly looking forward to this as it will enable the arts to argue their case regarding funding from the government.

“Besides, it is expected that banks will now accept artists as formal and legally bound. They will enjoy loans just like any worker in a different sector,” he said.

Tanzania’s arts council model is similar to that of Zimbabwe.

The local industry gurus acknowledged all that was happening in Tanzania and especially emulated how they were formalising the sector.

Several artists agreed that there was need for the arts to be accountable especially in paying tax so that they can claim budget allocations from the government.

They resolved that there should be a system where artists could pay taxes and all these could be recorded to have something tangible to present to the government.

The issue of different available sources of funding was raised on the same day.

Prominent writer, Stephen Chifunyise urged artists to exploit the various avenues of funding that are available.

Chifunyise pointed out that artists are usually grumbling over why some are getting funding while others are not.

“The problem is that artists do not research. I remember when I wrote an article in a local daily, telling artists about the various sources of funding, how to apply and which websites to visit.

“I was shocked to receive emails from people asking me how to apply, yet I had explained it to them and given those links of where to get all the relevant information. Funding is there but people are not applying,” he said. Chifunyise encouraged artists to form alliances and partnerships when applying for some of the funds as some require big proposals that need more brains put together.

“There is nothing wrong with working together and applying for a common goal. This in fact makes the application easier and with people with different ideas and levels of imagination working together, the proposals are easier to put together,” he said.

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