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Why Zimbabwean artists will die poor

Clayton Masekesa

MUTARE – Outspoken musician Hosiah Chipanga has said despite having a new government headed by Emerson Mnangagwa and a new arts and recreation minister, Kirsty Coventry, artists in Zimbabwe will continue to wallow in poverty because of inheriting the poor governance system from the previous government headed by Robert Mugabe.

In an interview on Wednesday the candid Chipanga said government’s constant failure to recognize the arts and entertainment as a serious business sector has made it impossible to eradicate poverty on the artists.

Chipanga said: “There are a lot of expectations within her (Coventry)ministry. She has made promises to improve the arts sector but this sector has a myriad of challenges. The current policies, if not changed, would dent Coventry’s efforts of improving the industry.”

He added that Coventry’s delivery is largely determined by a number of factors, chief among them effective arts policies implementation.

“Even if she was an angel from Heaven there was nothing much
she could have helped without a changed system of governance. The Zimbabwe problems and challenges have much to do with the system rather than the individual ministers,” Chipanga explained:.

“It is impossible to eradicate poverty within the artists in the country due to lack of sound economic policies and general poor governance, among several other issues,” he said.

The gifted composer said a lot of Zimbabwean artists could make a living from the arts and entertainment sector if there was a drastic change in the system of governance and implementation of sound policies crafted to suit the smooth operation of the arts sector.

“It is high time that the government takes our arts seriously. The new government must now classify the arts and entertainment as an industry,” he said.

The musician said notwithstanding the poor governance, the system was also characterized by corruption.

Coventry said her ministry will create empowerment for youth through sport, arts and recreation through creating platforms and support to athletes and artists for them to grow and be recognized

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