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Arts fraternity mourns Susan Hains

Story by Patience Nyagato

THE late theatre and film guru, Susan Hains who died after a long illness last Friday has been described as a luminary who contributed immensely to the growth of the arts sector in Zimbabwe.

The death of Hains has been described as a huge blow to the creative sector as colleagues in the industry paid their respects to the late theatre and film guru at a memorial service held at Reps Theatre in Harare this Monday.

“In 1985 it was a difficult time in Zimbabwe’s theatre industry just five years after independence. Susan Haines was chair of the National Theatre Organisation. Ngungi Wamire was at the Zimbabwe Association of Community Theatre, because we did not have money, Susan put a system in place where you could borrow money and repay after production. Theatre was a business. As rooftop promotions we got a lot of assistance,” said Keith Guzha.

“In the 70s it was difficult to penetrate in the industry but she helped people to the other side. She helped races to work together. Her mission was to bring people together because of her beautiful soul,” said Joyce Jenje Makwenda.

“She was a great teacher. In every play I directed, Susan had a hand in it. I have always valued her opinion. She was a fantastic and amazing teacher,” said Zane Lucas.

Family members weighed in describing the late Hains as a unifier.
The NAMA legend’s contribution to the growth of theatre and the creative sector in Zimbabwe saw her receiving recognition from the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe.

“The Government made sure that she was in the group that helped in setting up the National Arts Council. It is not misplaced that the Government saw it fit to grant her a state-assisted funeral.

“She is one of the 25 recipients of the Silver Jubilee Award by the National Arts Council. She was part of the 40 living legends awarded a legendary award by the National Arts Council,” said the Director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Mr Nicholas Moyo.

“Death has robbed the nation of a veteran arts administrator. Susan had an immense interest in film and television and devoted a large part of her life to coaching young talent in Zimbabwe.

“She was instrumental in the establishment of the National Arts Council in Zimbabwe. She played her part well and it is left or us to align the act to enhance the development of the sector in the country,” said the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Youth, Sports Arts and Recreation, Dr Thokozile Chitepo.

Hains, who is one of the most revered arts administrators in Zimbabwe after leading the decolonisation of Zimbabwean theatre to make it more inclusive was cremated at Glen Forest Memorial Park in Harare this Monday.

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