The creative sector in Zimbabwe has been in existence for a very long time and has made an immense contribution to the nation’s economy, society, and impacted culture.
The industry has huge potential to stimulate national pride, social cohesion, promote tourism, create jobs in the visual, performing, film, fine, literary, digital arts, clothing, design, production, marketing, digital and related arts.
It is a sector of the economy if resourced and capacitated can contribute to the creation of tens of thousands of jobs, and earn the country the much needed foreign currency, generating enterprises in ideas, innovation, entertainment, cultural and technological issues.
Zimbabwe’s creative community continues to defy the daily challenges, inspiring the nation to dream whilst making a great impact on the social fabric, entertaining and contributing to the economy as a whole. Hundreds of amazing artists are scattered across the globe in the diaspora and are craving to plough back skills, networks, knowledge, ideas, resources that could leverage the local industry on the global stage.
The cultural and creative sector plays a very important in documenting our history and heritage, telling our true narrative, shaping the country’s identity, brand and moving dreams and contributing to the country’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
However, inconsistency, disunity, lack of cohesion across the sectors, poor leadership have seen the creative industry battle for space, recognition and further hindered by the lack of a shared vision, inadequate state support, weak strategic development, investment, lack of standards, technical, infrastructural and financial support.
The newly formed association aims to create a unifying vision for these industries and present an informed and proactive entity that prides in diversity, tolerance, understanding, engagement, innovation, collaborations, and hard work.
In view of the above, a collective of young, diverse creatives came together in 2019 to work towards the formation a new association to represent the interests of creatives in the communities, at local/central government and the private sector.
The independent association will be mandated to represent creatives, contribute towards the development of the cultural industry in Zimbabwe. This association will be known as the Creative Industries Association of Zimbabwe (CIAZ).
Registration and affiliation with relevant local, regional and international bodies are ongoing and will be announced in due course.
The Creative Industries Association of Zimbabwe CIAZ seeks to rebuild, grow and represent the creative industry which comprises music, film, fashion, publishing, advertising, architecture, performing arts amongst others.
The biggest mandate of CIAZ is to help rebuild a vibrant and viable creative economy through education, exchange, trainings, capacity building for various bodies, associations and organisations within the creative industry, creating synergies, and strategic partnerships with regional and international organisations in order to access and unlock support and opportunities available in the global creative sector.
CIAZ also seeks to advocate on various issues and lobby for the rights of artists and creative industry workers. It will also seek to create a self-regulation mechanism that will help members and players to build a robust, respectful, ethical, credible and sustainable industry.
Exciting programs and events have been lined to help kick start this process, some of which have never been held or done in Zimbabwe. Announcements will be made in due course. A call for registration of members will be be made together with an interim board to oversee the setting up and the birthing of this national vision.
A point to note is that CIAZ seeks not to replace or take over space already occupied by other players but seeks to complement, partner and help build capacity for existing structures and foster amicable but progressive working relations and engagement with related state institutions.
Marshall Shonhai _ Interim Spokesperson _ 4 March 2020, Harare, Zimbabwe