MP calls for arts development framework     

MUTARE-Chikanga-Dangamvura Member of Parliament Esau Mupfumi has called on government to seriously consider coming up with a development framework for artists.

Mupfumi also called for a special budget to promote local art industry, which he said was underfunded.

He added that there is a lack of a clear blueprint on turning the art industry into a viable commercial entity with potential to uplift lives.

“There is a need to look at the art industry seriously. I think government has not explored avenues on how to fully tap into the lucrative art industry, which has the potential to lift up lives of ordinary people.

Mupfumi who made an undertaking to promote art in parliament during his campaigns said he was in the process of coming up with a framework to incorporate the development of the sector.

“I am coming up with a development framework to help local artists turn their skill into viable business, looking at areas where government and the corporate world can chip in.

“In fact government should come up with a clear funding structure to assist artists. There should be a budget in Parliament that looks into issues of the art industry,” he said.

Mupfumi, who was recently conferred an honorary doctorate in from United Kingdom based International Institute of Philanthropy, said he had been by inspired by requests from artists for assistance.

He pointed singled Mukudzei popularly known as Jah Prayzah, whom he assisted through the ranks to his current state of fame.

He said it was disheartening that some artists are given pauper’s burials despite the heights of popularity they scale at their peak.

“It is disheartening when these guys then pass on, their funerals are a sham and it doesn’t bode well for the siblings who are supposed to carry on the button, because art is generally hereditary.

Adding that, “Look at Jah Prayzah no one knew the potential that he had when he started off but I gave him a platform to showcase his talent and now look at where he is as an artist.”