Guzha wins top continental post

Takudzwa Chihambakwe
THEATRE guru Daves Guzha (pictured right) says he will use his recent election as president of Arterial Network to influence positive and practical change within the local arts sector.
Arterial Network is a civil society network of artistes, cultural activists, entrepreneurs, enterprises, non-governmental organisations and donors.

The dynamic pan-African network operates across the continent and aims to create civil society networks of cultural role players and empower their work for the cultural dimension of development. Speaking in an interview, an elated Guzha said his election is a direct reward for years of labouring in the arts and culture sector, both within and across borders.

“The new post is an acknowledgement of my investment in the creative and cultural industries from a continental perspective. It is an approval of solid leadership and endorsement of my artistic vision,” he said.

“For Zimbabwe’s Arterial Network chapter, I do hope that this faith and trust which has been reposed on me by the African continent will usher new energy and see practical initiatives being undertaken for the greater good of the arts and culture sector. More cohesion, collaborations and creativity will be my drive.”

Arterial Network’s five core focus areas to support the arts are advocacy, through the Artwatch Africa project, capacity building, market access, knowledge management and information dissemination.And Guzha pledges to make sure the five focus areas will be explored during his tenure. He also wants to perpetuate the vision of the network.

“My term of office will be guided by putting arts and culture at the epicentre of the continent’s human development.

I will also ensure the vision of the network to ensure a dynamic and prosperous African creative sector is perpetuated,” he added.

The network has this year initiated the creation of African Training Hubs that are currently being developed in three geographical areas, namely Abidjan, Nairobi and Harare.

Partnerships are in progress with major African training institutes operating in the sector to carry out training and mentoring activities, involving cultural sector professionals. Meanwhile, Guzha was recently in Paris to discuss issues pertaining to the Unesco 2005 Convention on Diversity of Cultural Expression.

“Debate has been on the inclusion of civil society organisations.

Starting in June and culminating now, civil society organisations from the globe including Arterial Network have been sharing information which leads to deliberations of the inter-governmental gathering of Unesco member states,” revealed Guzha.

“Arterial Network is proud to have been part of the process and looks forward to continue with efforts of this nature which builds on the need for voice of creative.”

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