Zimbabwe seeks to elevate cooperation with China in arts sector

  • World
  • Wednesday, 10 Jul 2024

HARARE, July 9 (Xinhua) -- Zimbabwe is seeking to elevate cooperation with China in the creative arts to boost the sector and promote cultural ties between the two sides, said Napoleon Nyanhi, the director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ).

"A lot of these exchanges have happened in the areas of live performance, including music, dance, and instrumentation. We would like to see more of the collaboration go into other spheres of the arts, which are areas of fashion design, areas of filmmaking, and television productions," said Nyanhi in an interview with Xinhua on the sidelines of the first Harare Forum for Africa and Academic Week, which concluded in the Zimbabewan capital Monday.

He noted that the Chinese-funded Dreamstar competition, Zimbabwe's largest talent search competition for young people, has been pivotal in uplifting Zimbabwean artists in various genres.

"We are very excited about the cooperation that has happened between Zimbabwe and China especially when it comes to arts and culture development," Nyanhi said. "I mention specifically the Dreamstar program which has been running for over 10 years now and we have seen almost 300 artists go from Zimbabwe to China to learn and also bring some of the Chinese work ethic, and some of the Chinese performance culture back to Zimbabwe."

The Dreamstar competition is organized by the China-Zimbabwe Exchange Center, an organization dedicated to promoting ties between China and Zimbabwe, with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe, Chinese businesses and communities in Zimbabwe, and the NACZ.

Having noted the importance of the arts sector to the economy, Zimbabwean government is investing in the film industry to help filmmakers develop their skills, said Nyanhi.

"But we would also like to encourage and invite the Chinese filmmakers to come to Zimbabwe and take part in this development," he said. "We would like Chinese producers to come and film their shows here, use some of the Zimbabwean crew, some Chinese crew so that we have got culture and skills exchange."

Nyanhi said Chinese productions such as the TV series "Journey to the West" have been influential in Zimbabwe, a positive development for China-Zimbabwe cultural engagement.

"We would love for more of our Zimbabwean productions to be able to do the same thing, whether animations, children's programs, TV series or movies, whatever it is, so we can create more of an affinity, more of love between Zimbabweans and Chinese by selling our culture and intermingling our cultures and arts," he said. "That way we can be able to do more work, more business, more friendship activities between China and Zimbabwe when we know and understand each other's culture better."

More Chinese cultural products and arts have managed to penetrate Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe aims to export its art and crafts to China as well, he said.

"Now we need to build and send more of our culture and our arts outside of Zimbabwe to China so that they can see what it is that we do here. We have got a very rich culture as a nation," he said, adding arts are a significant contributor to strengthening cultural exchanges, bringing the two sides closer.

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