National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) director Nicholas Moyo says the local arts industry has been operating without a database, a situation that makes it difficult to ascertain the number of people in the sector and allocate resources.
Speaking to journalists after a stakeholders meeting at Masvingo Civic Centre last Thursday, the newly appointed director said it was high time the arts sector comes up with a national database with categories of active artistes and their work for easy administration.
“Government has statistics on how many people are employed in the mining industry and we should also come up with the number of people employed in arts industry.
“This will help in the allocation of resources and buttress all efforts towards making the industry productive,” suggested Moyo.
He said NACZ was working with an old directory whose information has been overtaken by events.
“The issue of statistics remains key but at the moment, we only have a directory which was published 10 years ago. This is not inclusive as it doesn’t have statistics of the number guitarists, visual artistes and poets among other categories,” Moyo said.
The NACZ boss also called on custodians of art to take their work seriously as the sector seeks to measure its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product in line with President Mnangagwa’s vision to achieve a middle income level economy by 2030.
He said the arts industry had a lot of potential that if marketed well, could contribute a double digit to the country’s GDP hence the strides towards coming up with proper statistics.
“We want to work on marketing our works but that’ll only be possible if we segregate the industry and come up with the correct statistics. We can contribute more than 10 percent to the GDP once we have an exact number of players in the industry.”
The meeting, which was the last in a series of nationwide tours to meet with stakeholders following Moyo’s appointment, was designed to solicit views on how the arts industry can be marketed. — @walterbmswazie2