The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sunday Life Correspondent
NHIMBE TRUST has set out on an ambitious project to raise US$150 000 that will be channeled towards Bulawayo artists to alleviate challenges brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The arts sector has been one of the worst hit with most activity coming to a halt while those that have gone online have not made much returns.
The holistic arts entity is raising the money through a fundraising platform on Ezra ‘Tshisa’ Sibanda’s Facebook page with funds aimed at supporting at least 1500 artists over the next 12 months.
In a statement, Nhimbe said the COVID-19 is unravelling a decade of progress on the status of the artist and cultural professionals in Bulawayo adding the social and economic impact of the pandemic has already taken a toll on the city’s arts industry.
“Nhimbe Trust is committed to raising US$ 150,000 to keep artists and cultural professionals in Bulawayo safe for the next 12 months.
“Nhimbe aims to alleviate this hold-up for vulnerable artists and cultural professionals in Bulawayo by directly supporting at least 1500 artists and cultural professionals especially youth, women and
the elderly who have disproportionately been impacted by COVID-19,” read the statement.
The trust revealed its response will cover the city’s entire cultural community and the COVID-19 mitigation plan will be implemented in cooperation with the Bulawayo City Council.
The organisation appealed to people from all walks of life to donate towards the cause in support of our vulnerable artists and cultural professionals.
“Donations should be directed to the Facebook page ‘EZRA’S PERSONAL EMERGENCY FUNDRAISER’ – (Fundraiser for Josh Nyapimbi, Nhimbe Trust, by Ezra Tshisa Sibanda),” read the statement.
The funds will be aimed towards buying personal protective equipment (PPE) for artists, enable artists and cultural professionals to get back to work again in safe and secure work environments (including Ibumba International Arts Festival 2020, BAF 2021), assist towards COVID-19 Tests, international travel Visas or bereavement and also provide humanitarian support (in cash or kind) to artists and cultural professionals in distress.
Nhimbe has been actively involved in scaling up Covid-19 measurers for the arts sector include offering humanitarian support to women artists and cultural professionals nationally, under the Digital Resilience Grants and Essential Artists Mobility Facilitation.
they also set up an online global information resource for the cultural and creative industries and they also spearheaded the inaugural digital launch of the Bulawayo Arts Festival.