BY SHARON SIBINDI
THE calls for the oldest arts and craft centre in Bulawayo — Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre — to be renovated are growing louder amid concerns that the structure is now dilapidated and substandard.
Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre, which is under Bulawayo City Council’s Housing and Community Services department has produced some of the country’s prominent artistes such as the former Bulawayo Art Gallery director Voti Thebe, Adam Madebe, Sithabile Mlotshwa, Owen Maseko and Clifford Zulu.
Speaking during the just-ended Cultural Creative Industries (CCIs) conference, visual artist Tafadzwa Gwetai called for the arts centre to be revived as the centre has been a source to many artists.
“Mzilikazi Arts and Craft centre should be revived, as local artists from Bulawayo we are pained to see the slow death of the centre,” Gwetai said.
“The government needs to intervene and save this among historic institution.
“Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre has been a source to many amazing and successful creatives that have proudly spread a good word about Zimbabwe internationally.”
He said the revival of such institutions would empower young artists.
“This will restore arts and employment generation field that contributes to the overall economy of the country,” Gwetai said.
One of the products of the centre Zulu said they were deeply concerned over the dilapidated state of the infrastructure, especially the quality of teaching skills given to the students.
“Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre is the only formal arts and craft training institution in Matabeleland offering such training,” Zulu said.
“We are calling upon responsible authorities to partner former students and institutions like the National Gallery in Bulawayo, and the Bulawayo Poly School of Arts to provide expertise in bringing about quality of teaching.”