President Mnangagwa challenges local arts sector
Harare (New Ziana) – The local arts sector should be at the forefront of promoting peace and unity in Zimbabwe, drawing inspiration from the country’s rich cultural heritage to further the national development agenda.
He was speaking at the joint launch of the Zimbabwe @41 exhibitions and biography titled Hebert. W. Chitepo; The Life and Legacy of Zimbabwe’s First Black Advocate and Patriotic Freedom Fighter, which was written by local author, Elias Chipadze Machemedze.
There have been reports of clandestine attempts by western embassy officials, NGOs and opposition parties to use the arts sector as part of a wider regime change agenda plot.
But, President Mnangagwa said this should not be the case, as the local arts sector had an obligation, like everyone else, to foster virtues of bravery, hard honest work, loyalty and patriotism.
“Looking ahead, I challenge the creative cultural industries to be the theatre for harnessing the country’s potential towards the achievement of key national priorities and aspirations as outlined in the National Development Strategy 1 and Vision 2030.
“It is players in this sector that must amplify our call for production and productivity across all sectors, spur communities to take a lead in the devolution agenda for the realisation of development that leaves no one behind,” he said.
“The sector must equally be champions of promoting, peace, love, unity and national cohesion. Art and the creative industries must never be used as a tool to denigrate our cultural identity or aspirations as Zimbabweans or Africans.”
President Mnangagwa said the launch of the Zimbabwe @41 exhibition was part of the commemoration of the country’s national Independence Day anniversary.
He said the exhibitions, to also be rolled out in Bulawayo and Mutare, would afford the nation a chance to look back at the road traversed and the victories scored since independence in 1980.
“It is indeed critical that we study and appreciate the past so that we can better define our future, hence the nation must draw inspiration to undertake the tasks that lie ahead with resolute optimism and hope as to realise vision 2030,” he said.
“The exhibitions: Zimbabwe @41 demonstrates the immense transformative potential of the creative and cultural sector to shape and influence discourse for the collective national good. I applaud the manner in which the exhibitions have captured and detailed the various facets of the country’s rich history culture and heritage.”
President Mnangagwa pledged government’s support for the arts sector so that it can grow both in national importance and economic value.
“It is indeed through various artistic expressions that we can successfully tell our story from our own Zimbabwean and African perspectives anchored on the rich heritage,” he said.
Turning to the Chitepo biography, President Mnangagwa said it was an incisive and well researched book about one of the country’s most iconic liberation war heroes.
“This book brings to the fore our national liberation war heritage which as a nation we should always tell our children and generations to come, this will not only mould our children but also make them appreciate and value our liberation war history,” he said.
“The book affords every reader an opportunity to reflect on their individual potential to contribute towards the improvement in the quality of their own lives and communities.”