Well, they say a sugar and salt solution will heal you. So I guess it’s not a bad thing to have both in our city.
But then again in simpler terms for every good there is bad, for light there is darkness. Bulawayo is all those things in the arts industry. You will smile and cry at the same time.
Many a times people have said there is a need to support the local arts industry and many more times the local creatives have been called cry babies for voicing the need for support.
I have heard many talented people wanting to throw in the towel because of the lack of support. Picture the hours spent in the rehearsal room to no recognition.
Many many hours spent preparing for an event to see just a handful of friends attend. With that in mind a group of us decided to start the Bulawayo Arts Awards so we could recognise local talent, create local celebrities and create a calendar event for many in the city to look forward to.
The Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards are realising some of the outcomes that they were intended for, for example making the arts a business, marrying local artworks with the corporate world.
I believe it’s something to applaud. I remember the 1st edition of the awards like it was yesterday. I particularly remember the hugs and near kisses from Cont Mhlanga when he received the Lifetime Achievement Award which came with a plough sponsored by Zimplow as Cont had retired from the arts industry for years. He said he was glad Bulawayo had finally done something of its own; he thought the awards would be good for the growth of the industry (sugar).
Fast forward a few years, Cont comes out of retirement, the awards are based on emotions and will not last (salt). So anyway that’s just but one example.
People have been saying for a while that things are not happening in this city. I have noticed especially in the theatre front a lot is happening. Just last week but one, Sunduza was at Bulawayo Theatre with Moffat the play, a week later, Project Ngoma launched their debut album. Yesterday Babongile Skhonjwa, Fari and Nomvuyiso entertained with maybe the second adult theatre production in years.
Bulawayo celebrated its 125th anniversary as a city. Bulawayo was declared a town on 1 June 1894. The celebrations were held on 4 June as they made way for the burial of Liberation War Hero Dumiso Dabengwa. We celebrated the only way we know how, with music, dance and poetry.
I was particularly impressed with Mabhukudwana Primary School whose performance left many green with envy, how do children dance like that. Other performers included Black Umfolosi, Iyasa, Umkhathi, Indosakusa,Ezimnyama, Kaisa, Siyaya ,Sunduza, Fusion Band, Sandra Ndebele, Clement Magwaza and Madlela Skhobokhobo.
I must add though that our arts needs the support of the Government and city to be able to lose the begging baskets. This is not just entertainment, it’s work. Until next week, be safe . . .