Cont hails govt bailout for artistes

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VETERAN arts administrator Cont Mhlanga, pictured, has praised government for pledging a rescue package for artistes following the outbreak of coronavirus (Covid 19).

Artistes were left in dire straits as a number of live shows and events were cancelled when government announced measures to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

In his response after government pledged to provide relief grants to the artistes, Mhlanga described the move as “wonderful” as it has never happened since independence.

“This is wonderful and this is what Covid-19 can do to leadership,” Mhlanga said.

“For the first time, the Zimbabwe government will view the creative sector as worthy of its financial support since independence.

“If it ever materialises then we pray it becomes the trend of arts investment by government even after the Covid 19 pandemic,” Mhlanga said.

Many artistes have been forced to turn to digital platforms to showcase their talent during the lockdown period.

Early this month, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe launched a grant for Covid-19 relief funds.

The funds are set to be channelled to the beneficiaries via local cellular network provider NetOne’s OneMoney wallet facility.

“The grants are being managed by the Social Welfare (ministry) and they are not a huge amount of money as some might want to think,” NACZ director Nicholas Moyo said then.

“Therefore, the call is for those artistes who are desperate, in need and have been affected during this lockdown process.”

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