The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
ARTISTS are one of the professionals worst hit by the Covid-19 pandemic as gatherings are banned income has dried for entertainers who thrive on crowds.
In an effort to alleviate the challenges faced by artists during the lockdown period, Nhimbe Trust has issued members of its Women in Theatre & Television programme a grant of $2500 each to enable them to explore ways to harness the digital world where artists have turned to as they seek to keep their presence alive among their fans.
The arts organisation held an online meeting last month with the six WiTT members where they discussed Digital Resilience the current operating environment and how they can survive as artists.
The meeting saw the entity coming up with a Digital Resilience Fund with each member being offered a grant of $2500.
Nhimbe director, Josh Nyapimbi said they will host another webinar later this month to check on the artists’ progress.
“Nhimbe hope to continue providing support, subject to availability of resources,” he said, adding they are partnered by Africalia, Belgium.
Members of WiTT include Nomashawekazi “Lady Tshawe” Damasane, Dalma “Diamond” Vimbiso Chiwereva, Agnes Bonakele Moyo, Nomathamsanqa “Nkwali” Mkwananzi Gertrude Munhamo and Laura Ngwenya.
(WiTT) has come up with riveting musical plays including captivating theatre productions ‘Tellers – The musical’ in 2016-2017 and ‘Blood Tongue – The Musical’ 2017-2018 as they sought the advancement of women in these genres and managed to catapult them to wider acclaim and award-winning status.
Moyo said the grant came at the right time as she is working on several projects that need to be posted online.
“I have been working with other artists to create online projects, videos, interviews hence I will need to be online most of the time and also uploading my works needs data.
“I am also doing a teaching diploma and have to submit assignments online and without the fund it would have been difficult for me to upload them,” she said.
Enterprising arts practitioner, Lady Tshawe revealed the grant will enable her to further her skills through online courses during the lockdown period.
“The digital resilience grant has enabled me as an artist to sustain myself during this period when we are uncertain when things will go back to normal or when the lockdown will end. “Due to the fact we have been on lockdown for quite a while it has been difficult to try and penetrate the digital market as an actress because it was something that was new to us as theatre practitioners.
“While most of us may not necessarily have live concerts or live showings of our acting abilities or works, we will be able to further our skills online, because a lot of knowledge is now being offered online through various courses.
“The grant makes it easier to remain creative while also allowing us to feed our families and generate some form of income,” she said.