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Baya gives NAA thumbs up

Baya gives NAA thumbs up

Zimbabwean arts director wants collaboration between Francistown and Bulawayo

A veteran Zimbabwean Arts Director Raisedom Baya has hailed the Northern Arts Awards (NAA) as a great initiative which will have a massive impact on the arts in the north and the rest of the country.

Baya who is the Director of both Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) and Intwaza Arts Festival (IAF) says he sees a lot of similarities between NAA and BAA.

He said similarly when they started the BAA, they met some resistance from people who wanted to know why they were pursuing a regional agenda instead of a national one.

In a telephone interview with this Publication, the experienced arts director and author said Francistown should not shy away from giving artists in the north a platform which they may never get at national level.

“The challenge for artists in Bulawayo was that the national events mostly focused on Harare as the Zimbabwe capital.

The media attention was on Harare based artists, and a lot of artists based in Bulawayo and surrounding villages were left out,” Baya said.

He said although not deliberate this happens a lot in many countries including Botswana where artists based in Gaborone are at an advantage.

“There’s nothing wrong with celebrating your own. We can start regionally and hopefully national organisers will take a cue and eventually recognise our artists,” he said.

The award winning director who will be among the top dignitaries at the NAA billed for Adansonia Hotel on 9th December told The Voice that the arts industry stands to benefit a lot should the two cities of Francistown and Bulawayo work together.

“Already there’s a twinning relationship between the cities, and we need to find ways on how artists from both cities can collaborate,” he said.

“There are huge possibilities for both cities and this is something we are going to look into when I come to Francistown, ” added Baya.

The third NAA have created a huge buzz amongst local artists both in the south and north.

The number of artists who registered to be a part of the steadily growing event proved the popularity of Francistown’s biggest arts awards.

Tickets for the awards are still on sale for P300 and P500 inclusive of dinner.