By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Art is powerful and in a bid to raise arts, cultural heritage and wildlife awareness, the National Education and Cultural Trust of Zimbabwe (NECTZIM) will host the inugural Parinodira Festival in Harare next Saturday.
The first edition of the festival, the first of its kind in Zimbabwe, will have different activities which include art, craft design and wildlife exhibitions, music, poetry, storytelling, comedy as well as dance performances. Activities, which include traditional games, jumping castles and water slides will be part of the arts expo.
The festival is running under the theme Art is power.
“The purpose of the event is to raise arts, cultural heritage and wildlife awareness, providing thought-provoking edutainment,” said NECTZIM executive director Matthew Ndoro.
“The event will showcase cultural diversity through visual and performing arts providing a platform for wealth creation and youth empowerment.
We saw the necessity for capacity-building and skills development in the creative sector and at the same time creating safe space for community engagement and social collaboration among learners and facilitators.”
Over the years NECTZIM has been doing different arts and cultural events in the country.
“So far, as an organisation we have seen the construction of cultural villages, modern and cultural exhibitions, collection of ethnographic,” he said.
“We have also been doing festival and expos and events management. These events have yielded results and we are very happy with the way we have helped society.
“In schools we have hosted many events offering a diverse range of educative cultural activities, which have proven to be crucial in raising cultural awareness in our communities.
Ndoro said they have also been chipping in with technical assistance.
“We have been helping and upgrading society by providing technical support and building capacities in the creative sector as well as communities in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“We have managed to educate society about the importance of our cultural heritage as it is important to know where we are coming from and where we are going as a nation.
“Arts is seen as a shameful profession so we want to debunk this mentality that a profession in the arts industry is shameful by giving increased appreciation of all forms of art and our unique cultural diversity, ”Ndoro said.
The activities of NECTZIM have seen the facilitation of the construction of typical traditional homesteads at some schools across the country, a trait unique only to the organisation, as well as showcasing cultural diversity through visual and performing arts, including but not limited to art and craft exhibitions, music, drama, storytelling, poetry and dance.
Different schools participate in these big, colorful events and heads of department of the sector and local reputable artists also grace these occasions.
NECTZIM is a community based organisation which has been working with the Primary and Secondary Education ministry for the past six years.