Tafara Mabvuku Arts Association (TAMAA) has requested that National Museum and Monuments declare their centre a national heritage site.
This follows the discovery of various bushman paintings that resemble those in Domboshava at the centre, which is situated amidst balancing rocks. TAMAA chairperson Mike Maseza says, “If this place is declared a national heritage site it would develop business for surrounding areas and put Mabvuku and Tafara on the map.”
He says that the historic significance fused with art and culture at the arts centre will go a long way in creating employment opportunities for artists. “It will be good marketing for our sculpture and various arts that this area is rich in,” he said.
The arts centre currently accommodate 30 sculptors from Mabvuku and Tafara suburbs. TAMAA vice chairperson Ellard Alfred explains, “We can, at the moment, only cater for sculptors because of lack of resources. With sculptors you can get by with only shades to shield them from the sun and rain, which is different with other art forms.”
He said with music they will need to build facilities including recording studios and a performance stage as well as buy instruments, while theatre would need them to build a proper place. “We want the centre to be a point of relief to many jobless youth and elderly alike, we want them to use their respective talents in earning a living.”
Alfred said sculptors are not selling much because they are isolated from markets. “When we sell mostly it’s to middle men who are ripping us off, selling our pieces in foreign lands more than ten times what they give us,” he said. The declaration of the art centre into a national heritage site will popularise the centre and go a long way towards marketing arts products from the Mabvuku Tafara suburbs.
Popular musician, who is also the fundraising chairperson for TAMAA, Willom Tight says, “We have approached our honourable MP James Maridadi with our proposal to have the place declared a national heritage site. He said he has pushed it through and now we are just waiting for the government’s approval.”
TAMAA is an association formed to nurture and provide a working space for artists in Mabvuku and Tafara.
Caption: TAMAA vice chairperson Ellard Alfred at the Green Expo last year.