BULAWAYO – Nhimbe Trust, a Bulawayo-based arts education organisation, intends to set up a creative space in Zimbabwe’s second largest city which is similar to the defunct Book Café which shut its doors two years ago.
To set the ball rolling, Nhimbe Trust, which has been running arts events around Bulawayo under the banner of Bluez Café, will hold a consultative meeting with artistes and other cultural stakeholders in Bulawayo at Youth Contact Centre on Thursday.
According to Nhimbe Trust and Bluez Café director Josh Nyapimbi, the envisaged creative space will cater for the needs of diverse disciplines which include music, spoken word, literary arts, visual arts, fine arts, film, drama, dance and crafts.
“The task at hand is to consult with Bulawayo artistes and cultural workers to chart the path we should take to realise a vital creative space for artistes and audiences of Bulawayo,” Nyapimbi said.
Former Pamberi Trust workers, Ian White and Penny Yon, who worked closely with the Book Café before it closed shop in 2015, has been roped in to help set up the arts hub which will be located at the Youth Contact Centre.
“White and Yon’s combined experience and contribution to Bulawayo’s creative economy will help enhance cultural connectivity between Zimbabwe’s two main urban centres — Harare and Bulawayo.
“The current reality is such that the movement of artistes and productions between
Harare and Bulawayo has fallen steadily year by year, overall dramatically.
“For example, in theatre, dance and literary disciplines, limited movement only takes place in relation to one or two larger festivals annually. In music, it is limited to a handful of large acts.
“The same problem exists with smaller towns and centres even on a larger scale, since these have less opportunity for sponsorship or various kinds,” said Nyapimbi.
White has welcomed the opportunity to help Nhimbe Trust and Bluez Café contribute to the development of the arts sector.
“Zimbabwe’s fascinating cultural tapestry displays intricate patterns of historical and geographical influences. The magic in this centuries-old mix has produced ground-breaking artistic originality and innovation as well as a world-renowned cultural legacy across all arts disciplines and music genres.
“Zimbabwe holds its position own across the continent in cultural and music spheres, producing world-renowned arts and artistes. Building on this legacy and in partnership with Nhimbe Trust, Bluez Cafe aims to create a vibrant and multi- dimensional cultural space in Bulawayo, a cultural space for artistes and arts practitioners, a space to create, a space for free expression of cultural identity — a space of tolerance, inclusion, unity, respect, dialogue and compassion,” the former Pamberi Trust official said.