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Plumtree poet’s lamentation

BY SHARON SIBINDI

PLUMTREE poet Thabo Nkomo has lamented lack of appreciation of various art works on home soil while expressing gratitude to the South Africans for recognising his works.

Nkomo, who is renowned for his Tshitshi Nana poem, relocated to South Africa in 2008, where he has caused waves in the arts industry.

The founder of Thabo Arts Academy (TAA), Nkomo, who teaches Matric learners Dramatic Arts and is a drama practical examiner, said plans were afoot to introduce
Awethu Theatre Awards in recognition of Zimbabweans flying the country’s flag high in South Africa.

“I have so far got more support and respect in South Africa and my TAA members are not only South Africans, but are also my former learners who passed Matric
with distinctions in Dramatic Arts and I can safely say I have a 100% Matric pass rate,” Nkomo said.

“People at home [Plumtree] love me, but when it comes to paying for my products they think twice. So, I just prefer and appreciate the support that I’m getting
here in South Africa.

“By the way, ‘no prophet is recognised in his own hometown’. I deeply know that people at home love me and appreciate my contributions in arts, especially from
1990 to 2000. But the truth is the day I revive an arts awards in Plumtree, they will come and perform in Plumtree. It’s so sad to be appreciated ngomlomo nje
kuphela! [without any material benefit],” he said.

Having churned out five albums — Vulumnyango, Silamulele Baba, Amagugu Amatsha, Ngomgqibelo and Truth and Love, Nkomo said he was there to stay in the arts
industry.

“I am still around. It’s only that I am now far away from home and you guys at home think that I’m not performing at all. I just had a performance at
Swaniville and Tsakane,” he said.

“Besides performing, I teach Matric learners Dramatic Arts and I am also a drama practical examiner, so my hands are a bit full.”

Nkomo hinted at establishing Awethu Theatre Awards, an event meant to recognise Zimbabweans doing their things in South Africa.

“For the past five years, music — gospel, hip-hop and maskandi — is catered for here and no Mthwakazi theatre practitioners have been awarded. That is what
motivated me to come up with the idea. I have been in South Africa for 20 years and I have seen all genres awarded, but no theatre,” he said.

“Many artistes are doing a good job in the arts yet they are never recognised in Nama or Bulawayo Arts Awards and I ask myself: ‘Where really do we fit in?”

“We in theatre are sidelined yet we fly our nation’s flag. So Awethu Awards are ours as no one wants to do it for us. It’s for us by us. We appreciate each
other’s work in arts. We refuse to sit and wait for miracles or manna from heaven.”

He said more theatre talent was growing but was not being recognised, hence he felt it was high time they did the launch.

“It’s time Mthwakazi and the whole nation know that arts is also alive across the borders of the country. We will launch the awards in September 2019,” he
said.

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