By Emmanuel Hove Mhike
An exceptionally talented Lower Gweru based Artist , Keith Zenda has challenged the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture, Kirsty Coventry to prioritize grassroots Arts development, through workshops while establishing strong artistic Institutions in rural areas, this publication can reveal.
Zenda was speaking at an Arts and Sports Relief Fund awareness event held at Gweru Sports Club where he was presenting a portrait to the minister. He challenged the Minister to be visible and supportive especially in issues of grassroots Arts and Cultural projects.
“To the Minister I sent a message that talented rural Artist needs information, resources and in general government support. Few rural Artists know that Kirsty is the Minister of Arts, they only know her as the great Swimmer. She needs to make a difference by making sure government supports grassroots Arts projects through rural model artistic workshops and establishment of strong Arts institutions or centers at the margins,” he said.
Zenda told this reporter that the portrait was inspired by the humbleness of the Minister and her track record as an artist.
“I met Honorable Kirsty before she became a Minister at an Arts festival . I was impressed by her humility and love for Arts. Also her track record as an Artist inspires me everyday ,” said Zenda.
After receiving a portrait that perfectly resembles her, the World swimming icon felt honored.
“I’m greatly honored and humbled by this kind gesture from a very talented artist. I’m also taking these Nguni cattle paintings to my husband, he loves Nguni breed and I’m sure he will buy,” she said.
The Midlands Arts and Sports relief fund visit was attended by Arts Practitioners and Artists from the province’s districts. Notable attendants include Provincial Arts Manager, Kumbirai Kupfavira, Provincial Arts and Culture Officer Reward Shockson and Kwekwe based Bantu Studios Director, Tawanda Jumo (Bantuman I).
Arts Institutions, Association and groups were encouraged to embrace and encourage registration with Ministry and National Arts Council of Zimbabwe in order to be visible and feasible.