Prisoners find talent for life beyond crime

HARARE - The Kumakomoyo Arts Festival has given prison inmates hope of a future by identifying and nurturing their talent whilst they are still in jail, says the festival chair, Silibaziso Mguni,

In an interview with the ****Zimbabwean on Thursday****, Mguni said the main thrust of the KaFest was to help inmates make a decent living rather than resort to crime. Said Mguni: We have made tremendous progress in achieving our prime goal of rehabilitating and breathing a new lease of life into former convicts. Culture Fund of Zimbabwe is our major partner who is assisting by disbursing some funds to ex-inmates to kick-start their income-generating projects.

Mguni, however, cited inadequate funding as one of their major challenges. This years KaFest was supported by Zimbabwe Prison Services, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, National AIDS Council, Family AIDS Council Trust, City Link, FASO, the Ministry of Information, City of Mutare and Mutare Harlem City. The crowd was entertained by choral groups and local artists.

Masvingo and Matebeleland prisons failed to travel because of transport problems. KaFest was established at Mutare Arts Centre in 2005 and has grown into a national programme.

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