By Lerato Ndlovu
Mashonaland West province today launched the “Madzimai Ehumhare Arts Hub” (MEAH) at an event held in Chinhoyi.
The women’s hub was established last year amid the Covid-19 crisis to empower the women and appreciate their craft.
Minister of State and Devolutions office Director Douglas Chiwiro representative at the launch said the women’s hub shows how Cultural Creative Industries (CCI) is an effective vehicle of communication and key economic enabler.
“I wish to applaud MEAH for responding to the vision 2030 call. It is now a challenge for the women to employ avenues for fellow women and commit yourselves to narrowing the gap of unemployment.
“The government has these offices to work with Ministry of Youth Sports, Arts and recreation, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and Ministry of Women Affairs to assist you and assist you on how to appreciate the Creative Cultural Hubs,” he said.
National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Provincial Arts Manager, Jephias Makumucha said despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic female artists had remained active in the sector.
“We as the council support such initiatives and hope that more women will come and join such initiatives or start and register their organisations so that their works are made recognisable and public instead of hiding what they can do.”
MEAH coordinator, Tarisai Gusho said the initiative to start a women’s organisation came after noticing that there were a lot of women in the province earning a living through the arts.
“The idea to have such an organisation came to mind after seeing that the number of women that are using their hands to seek for survival is increasing, and some are making products that are not being marketed due to lack of adequate selling techniques and support to ensure that they are noticed and known.
“In the province so far only four districts have joined and we are still taking more members, we want women to be recognised in the province and we grow together educating and advising each other,” she said.
The crafts that were exhibited range from jewellery, decor, paintings, bead work and traditional foods.
Present at the event were representatives from the Ministry of Youth Sport Arts and Recreation, Ministry of Public Service and Social Welfare, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe, Chinhoyi Show Society General Manager, Chinhoyi Town Clerks office, FBC.