UNITED Colleges of Education in Bulawayo (UCE) for the first time hosted Tertiary Institution of Arts in Zimbabwe (Tifaz), an annual festival where tertiary institutions come together to showcase productions in both performing and visual arts.
The acting director of tertiary education programmes in the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Mrs Dephine Zivanayi, said the aim of the festival was to grow the talent that is there in the tertiary centre and to show that production can be entrepreneurial.
“Culture is both an enabler and driver of economic growth therefore we need to preserve and practice our cultural heritage in order to grow our creative economy. Generally, the creative arts sector usually contributes up to 10% of national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and employs more people aged 15 to 29 than any other sector. Hence the need for more sustained support of this sector in strategic national development,” said Mrs Zivanayi.
She said the ministry was ready to support by putting resources towards supporting creativity and innovation in the country.
Founding chairperson of Tifaz Mr Atanas Ruzive said the festivals came after they realised that there was the need for them to promote arts and cultural heritage preservation.
“We looked at areas that are underplayed in national development and that are facing extinction and we realised that traditional dance is becoming extinct due to imperialism as they were regarded as uncivilised and evil,” he said.
He added that they created this platform for sustenance of cultural practices and to motivate talent and skill for students who have exceptional ingenuity to showcase their works.
At the festival students showcased dance, theatre, marimba, mbira, electric dance and art works from hairdo, dress designs to modelling. The festival started on Thursday and it ended on Friday and most teachers’ colleges and polytechnical colleges attended.