Institutions have to be supported and encouraged when they promote arts and culture

MUTARE - Education officials say promoting the arts at higher learning institutions is integral to promoting African culture and boosting tourism.

The suggestion was made during the opening of the Manicaland Festival of the Arts in Mutare at the weekend.

The showcase, organised by the Africa Universty, ended Sunday.

Adressing the festival’s opening, Manicaland education director Peter Muzawazi said institutions have to be supported and encouraged when they promote arts and culture.

Muzawazi stood in for Education, Sports, Arts and Culture Minister David Coltart.

Muzawazi expressed hope that the festival would boost tourism and generate income for the province and the country.

The festival being run the Africa University should be a forum for the exchange of ideas, views, practices, experiences, knowledge between artistes, students academics and the community. It also fosters the development of tourism in the country and region as the festival is a brainchild of a Pan African University, Muzawazi said.

He called on the business community to embress and work together with Africa Univesity and other stakeholders to ensure the festival grows bigger.

Mbira player Alexander Tunzi of Mbira friends in Mutare, one of dozens of artists who participated said the festival gave them an opportunity to be spotted by talent scouts and -agents.

It is a noble initiative for us artistes as we used the platform to showcase, promote our music.

Organizers said they hope the festival showcase will foster a sense of unity amongst festival goers, while enabling artists and patrons to network.

Africa University’s Dr Thokozile Chitepo said they wanted to cultivate a sense of appreciation for the arts amongst members of the community.

She said considering the fact that tourism is one of the country’s leading employers and a major foreign currency earner, the sector should utilize the arts more.

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