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Provincial Newspapers Telegraph

Rural artists embrace technology


Sharon Chikowore

THERE is need for people to catch up and embrace the digital era as everything now involves technology.

Artists in the rural areas of Makonde under Musoromuchena Skills for Life group have embraced technology, making it easier for their work easier and for them to become be recognised.

During a one-day training workshop, which was held at Zimbabwe Open University, last week, most artists applauded the training although they still have a long way to go.

Some of the artists included older people who had never used a computer before or a smart phone; so, it was somewhat difficult for some of them to catch up.

Board member and the treasurer of Musoromuchena Skills for Life, which is rural based, Shupikai Zebron, said the programme funded and supported by European Union chose a few rural artists to participate so that they learnt about ICT and were able to sell their work. At the same time, once empowered with the new skills, they would be able to teach other artists in areas they came from.

“We are dealing with culture meeting ICT, meaning that we have taken ICT to the rural areas, where we are looking for talents from all ages. Today, we are holding our first workshop for our clientele. We have chosen a few artists from Makonde Rural to come and learn basic ICT skills so that they can sell their expertise to the world, through social media platforms.

“We have people from all ages, young and old artists, some who are 80 years of age, who we deal with. Every talent is included today. We want them to familiarise with these gadgets so that when they go back to their places they can also use their cell phones. So, we are urging children to buy their parents smart phones so they market their work,” said Zebron

Gogo Zimbabwe, born Mavis Gutsa (67) from Ward 19 in Chijaka, who is into traditional medicine, said the programme had been helpful to her as she learnt new things and was able to use a computer, something which she had never done before. She would also use the new-found skills to market her medicine, which hopes would be able to help a lot of people.

“I’m so grateful for what Musoromuchena did for us as cultural artists, for us to embrace technology. We have been taught a lot of things including how to advertise my work online and to be known. We have been taught how to open Gmail accounts for easy communication. With practice, I know I will be able to do everything that is needed for me to know.

“I have different types of traditional medicines which people use and I have testimonies. So, with this technology I will be able to help many who might need the herbs,” said Gogo Zimbabwe.

Farai Madzima, a carpenter, who was part of the group, said for one to prosper one needed to be known and this could only be done using ICT, which had developed the best tools in everything. He was happy that they were being taught in order for them to grow.

“Ndave nemakore mashanu ndichita zvekuveza izvi, kuzouya kwe Musoromuchena yakatibatsira zvakanyanya nokuti mabasa edu taingoita tiri kumasango zvisingashambadzwi, zvisingazivikanwe. Takazodzidziswa zvakawanda, uye nhasi tiri pano pa Zimbabwe Open University tichidzidziswa kushandisa mishini yechimanje manje zvinoita kuti tizokwanisa kushambadza zvivezwa zvedu zvatinenge tagadzira kuti zvikwanise kuonekwawo nevari kure,” said Madzima.

Eleven-year-old Emmanuel Zukani, who is into making different types of items including door mats, baskets, handbags using plastic bottle tops, said he was proud of what he is doing and would teach other children on how to use these plastic tops for recycling.

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