BY JAIROS SAUNYAMA
Twenty artistes from Murewa have recieved a major boost after undergoing a 10-day intensive training on textile designing and garment making.
The training came at a time when most artists are being grounded due to the current Covid-19 pandemic.
The beneficiaries included four males while the rest were women and young girls, who all received certificates upon completion of the training.
Speaking during the handing over of certificates to the artistes at Murewa Culture Centre on Friday, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) Mashonaland East provincial arts manager Chido Erengwi said the intiative is key to the empowerment of artists.
“This initiative is key as it importantly aids the attainment of Vision 2030 as it is premised on economic empowerment, that is, improving livelihoods,” Erengwi said.
“The programme, which target women and youths in arts, aims to increase diversification in the culture and creative industries.
“A number of artistes found the going tough during the pandemic especially those dependent on live shows.
“This programme offers them an opportunity to increase their options.”
The project was funded by Culture Fund under the Creative Actions programe and is being supported the European Union (EU).
The training of the beneficiaries was facilitated by Murewa-based Almega Trust (Alpha and Omega) Project.
Almega director Lloyd Maibheka said the empowerment programmes is meant to ensure that artists in Murewa get survival skills during this Covid-19 era.
“The main objective is to empower women and youths in the arts industry with textile designing and garment making skills to improve their livelihoods during this Covid-19 pandemic,” Maibheka said.
“Most of the performing artistes, were suffering during this era, hence we realised that we need to give them an extra skill they can work from home. They can sell online.”
One of the beneficiaries, Idah Jaravaza (39) said the training was of great importance and that she is ready to use the required skills to better her life.
“I learnt a lot during this period. As a musician there are no shows to talk of due to Covid-19 restrictions,” Jaravaza said.
“It was hard for us. Now that we have acquired these skills, I can fend for my family.
“Moreover, as a musician I can now make my own outfits for the stage.”
The programme is running until December where the beneficiaries will be monitored on progress.
Culture Fund Zimbabwe director Farai Mupfunya said: “We are happy with this intiative as it is part of restoring back our culture. We now have people who can make such clothes here in Murewa.”
In textile designing, the artistes were trained on T-shirt printing and tie-and-die making among other things.
“We are going to have two groups with each getting a start-up kit that consists of fabric, dye chemicals and other raw materials,” Maibheka said.
“They will be working as clusters while monitoring them.
“We will be refreshing and we then do our evaluation in December when we conclude the whole programe.”