Govt remains committed to supporting the creative sector

By Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says the government remains committed to supporting the creative cultural industries.

He was speaking after a private preview of the Stars are Bright Artworks at the National Gallery in Harare this Monday.

In the 1940s, young students from Cyrene Mission School in Matebeleland created pieces of art work.

After a successful tour in European countries and a final exhibition in London, the art works were stored at the St Michael’s and All Angels’ Church in Shore ditch.

Seventy years later, the art works are back home and this Monday President Mnangagwa was shown the pieces at a private preview at the National Gallery.

The President said the ‘Stars Are Bright Collection’ signifies the importance of artworks in Zimbabwe, pledging government‘s continued support for the local arts sector.

“This artwork collection being showcased at this exhibition is a testimony that the arts, culture and creative industries have long been part of the daily lives. My government under the Second Republic, recognises the need to create an environment for holistic national development,” said the President.

President Mnangagwa commended the various organisations that have ensured the important artwork is preserved.

The President said the artworks which draw from an unusual decorative style, translate Christian themes into distinctive African imagery.

In this regard, he urged the church to work with the government in national development projects.

“Drawing from the lessons we learn from the journey of these artworks , I exhort the church to continue partnering, complementing and supporting initiatives which advance Zimbabwe’s national development narrative in close liason with government ministries.”

President Mnangagwa said artists have a huge role to playing in telling the true story of Zimbabwe.

“The true story of our country has not yet been fully told. I thus challenge artists and researchers to unravel and tell the uncorrupted Zimbabwean story including through creative art works.”

The artists were, however, urged to resist being manipulated by those pursuing their own agenda.

The artists should rather use their talent to advance unity and peace said the President.

“Do not allow yourselves to be manipulated by some western entities for their own dubious agenda , yet others may attempt to use you to subvert your own country as well as deprive present and future generations of hearings and seeing the world through reflections of your artworks.”

President Mnangagwa also reiterated the country’s call for the unconditional return of artifacts and creative works in different parts of the world.