By Stephen Ephraem
The cultural tourism players in Chipinge and Chimanimani have been urged to adapt to travel restrictions due to Corona Virus pandemic in order for the cultural industry to survive.
The cultural industry was encouraged to so during WhatsApp based discussion that was held last Friday by Chipinge and Chimanimani based creative industry players under the banner “Culture and Arts Development.”
The culturalists and artists invited marketing officials from Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) Manicaland and Lowveld regional offices to give them technical advice on how they can face the future.
The discussion was moderated by the Chairman of Ndau Festival of the Arts (NDAFA) Philip Kusasa assisted by the vice Chairman of Peace Arts International (PAINT) Tendai Munhazu.
Participants included artists, culturalists, district officers from women affairs ministry, youth and culture ministry, a district representative from National Arts Council.
During the discussions culturalists and artists were worried about the future of the creative industry in Zimbabwe.
“Cultural industry depends on cultural tourism. A ban or restriction in travel translates to a huge blow in the cultural business. How can we save the industry?” asked one participant.
In response, ZTA Manicaland’s Tsitsi Madzingo encouraged the players to market themselves on digital platforms.
“Culture and arts should try by all means to be visible on digital platforms especially social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Twitter and others. Players should open accounts on such platforms and market their products. That way the industry can survive,” said Madzingo.
Some players outlined that they might find the going tough on being regularly present on digital platforms since Chipinge and Chimanimani cultural industry is based in rural areas were internet connectivity is a huge challenge.
Rachiel Danda from ZTA Lowveld encouraged the players to lean on each other in order to succeed.
“Those who have internet access and are already active on digital platforms should help market products by needy counterparts. I wish to comment that Chipinge and Chimanimani areas have rich cultures which if players unite in marketing the region online, the cultural industry shall boom when the situation improves,” said Danda.