In the pursuit of progress and development, it is disheartening to witness how gatekeepers within the Ministry of Sports and Arts are hindering the growth of the arts sector. These departments, intended to foster an environment conducive to creativity and innovation, have instead become deterrents that stifle investment and hamper the potential for growth.
One glaring example that highlights the futility of the existing bureaucracy is the unsettling tale of Themba Magorimbo. His story epitomizes how cumbersome and pointless the current system can be. The gatekeepers, preoccupied with insignificant details, overlook the pressing matters that require immediate attention, such as the dire state of our stadia and sports infrastructure. Magorimbo in his glory and international recognition cannot raise the Zimbabwean flag because of some processes and procedures that do not make any meaningful contribution to his growth and development as a sportsman.
It seems as though these gatekeepers have developed a keen affinity for meetings and conferences that hold no tangible value or contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of the sports and arts sectors. Their obsession with bureaucratic protocols, administrative procedures, and rigid regulations has skewed their focus away from the essential pursuits that should be advancing our arts and sports industries. When was the last time we won or participated in a major international competition? We are still waiting for the CAF Africa Cup of Nations trophy let alone making it to the finals.
The National Arts Council, for instance, places absurd and unreasonable demands on promoters, making it excessively difficult for them to register or facilitate international performers’ participation in Zimbabwe. Such stringent regulations hinder the influx of new talent, ideas, and perspectives that could invigorate our artistic landscape and provide valuable exposure for local artists. In the music sector we failed to raise Oscar Mdlongwa popularly known as Oskido he had to be raised by South Africans. Berita, Nox Guni and several others do not receive any support from the Arts Council yet the arts Council claims to be there for the arts sector.
The paucity of meaningful trophies and accolades in our sports and arts scenes is another testimony to the fact that these gatekeepers have outlived their usefulness. It is high time for new players and fresh faces to emerge, individuals who can inject renewed passion and vision into these sectors. The current crop of Chief Directors and Directors seem to have lost sight of their purpose, their focus meandering away from nurturing talent and creating an enabling environment.
If we genuinely desire progress and growth in the arts and sports sectors, it is imperative to dismantle these stifling barriers. We must redefine the roles and responsibilities of these gatekeepers, emphasizing efficiency, innovation, and collaboration. Streamlining administrative processes, adopting a more open-minded approach to international performers, and creating space for new voices are crucial steps toward revitalizing these industries.
Moreover, investing in infrastructure, upgrading stadia, and providing adequate funding for artists and athletes should take precedence over superficial administrative policies. By refocusing our efforts and resources on the areas that require urgent attention, we can foster an environment that nurtures talent, encourages innovation, and rewards excellence.
The public service commission needs to relook its deployment to these departments, it is clear that the gatekeepers within the Ministry of Sports and Arts are doing more harm than good. Their bureaucratic approach, excessive regulations, and lack of adaptability are stifling growth and hindering the potential for investment. We must challenge the current status quo, demanding a shift towards a progressive, inclusive, and forward-thinking mindset that will give rise to a truly flourishing arts and sports sector in Zimbabwe.
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