iNgungu Yomhlaba Cultural Arts Center
As a creative, growing up in Nguboyenja township, we could create music and dance from home as a family, at a youth center as a community, and from a cultural center as artists from different, communities, cities, ethnicities, and nationalities. I moved to the capital Harare in 2010 and I have missed such a space. Trying to create music has been a challenge because rehearsal spaces are hired for about five to ten US Dollars an hour. This has negative impact on the quality of the music created by the artists who are also not very well paid and cannot afford to dedicate the required amount of time for projects because of the cost factor.
Opening the iNgungu yomhlaba as a space that the creatives can meet up, rehearse, host residencies, host events and exhibit artworks across genres would mean a lot to me. I envision a space in which mentorship will be provided for the younger and budding artists, a space for intergenerational dialogue in which all generations can benefit from learning from each other as well as a space for cultural exchange, open for foreign nationals who want to learn the Zimbabwean ancient artforms and also share their own artforms.
There is a growing concern of drug abuse which sits at 57% for youth and with the covid19 pandemic, a growth in the unemployment rate. The center will therefore be a vehicle to curb drug abuse and provide skills for young people ranging from Performing arts in terms of Music, Dance, Theatre to Ancient Zimbabwean Musical instruments building and also Research and Documentation. Human resources right through the project cycle will be provided by locals, hence contributing to the emancipation of the society.
I envision iNgungu yomhlaba as a hive of activity which will not only resuscitate the arts sector but provide quality, well researched and documented Zimbabwean artforms which is a huge gap at the moment.