Bluez Cafe creates hub for artists

BULAWAYO - Bluez Café, the new multi-dimensional arts centre in Bulawayo, kicks off strongly this January, starting the year on a high note with the second phase of implementation to transform the old Youth Contact Centre (former Scout Hall) into a vibrant creative space and creative hub for artists and audiences of Bulawayo.

An initiative of Nhimbe Trust in partnership with the Youth Contact Centre (YCC), Bluez Café provides platforms, spaces and facilities for the career-path development of artists across all disciplines, building livelihoods and Bulawayo’s creative economy.

Bluez Cafe also provides platforms for democratic dialogue and community engagement to build dignity, tolerance and respect through the acknowledgment of the complexity of history, diversity, culture and custom. 

Operations will be changing gears with the arrival of Ian White, now in office at Bluez Cafe.

YCC and Nhimbe Trust executive director Josh Nyapimbi said:  “On behalf of the YCC and Nhimbe boards and management, I would like to extend a hearty welcome to Ian White to Bulawayo, where he has relocated to take up the role of operations manager of the Bluez Café.

With the support of Penny Yon in Harare, I believe the Bluez Café will make an unparalleled contribution to Bulawayo’s creative economy.”

Renowned playwright and cultural leader Cont Mhlanga of Amakhosi Cultural Centre visited the Bluez Cafe this week, to welcome White to Bulawayo.

In discussions with White and Nyapimbi regarding the future of culture in the city, he said he had been following developments at the Bluez Cafe with keen interest, and endorses it as a cultural centre.

Long-laid plans are coming to fruition and dreams translating into reality as they unfold.

Since its official opening on Africa Day in May 2017, the venue has hosted six public music and poetry performances, seven meetings, 15 workshops, three auditions, and rehearsal spaces for 15 groups.

White’s background and experience with Pamberi Trust and its partner Book Café over 10 years will be brought into play, and he has been warmly welcomed by many cultural friends in the city, with whom he has interacted for many years and who recognise the value of his experience.

Over the years Book Cafe had been recognised as an iconic venue, an intangible cultural asset stimulating creativity and fostering aspiring young talent.

All indications portend that Nhimbe Trust and YCC’s vision of Bluez Cafe as an equally rich and iconic multi-faceted venue and cultural centre in the city of Bulawayo is developing into an exciting reality.

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