Coun­cil of­fers BAA free venue

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Entertainment - Bon­gani Ndlovu/Nqo­bile Tshili Show­biz Cor­re­spon­dents

BU­L­AWAYO coun­cil­lors have agreed to of­fer or­gan­is­ers of the in­au­gu­ral Bu­l­awayo Arts Awards (BAA) the Large City Hall for free for their cer­e­mony set for June.

This was af­ter BAA or­gan­is­ers sent an ap­pli­ca­tion to the City of Bu­l­awayo in Jan­uary re­quest­ing for free use of the venue. The de­ci­sion was ar­rived at dur­ing a full coun­cil meet­ing last Wed­nes­day fol­low­ing a heated de­bate over the sub­ject. Coun­cil­lors had to take it to a vote with those against the free use los­ing 15 to eight.

Coun­cil­lors Si­bon­iso Khu­malo, Mlandu Ncube, Thobani Ncube strongly ad­vo­cated for the free use of the hall say­ing it was crit­i­cal for the lo­cal au­thor­ity to support lo­cal tal­ent. The coun­cil­lors said Bu­l­awayo was glob­ally recog­nised be­cause of arts groups such as Iyasa there­fore, more up-and-coming artistes needed to be sup­ported as well to keep the city on the world map.

“Th­ese are our chil­dren try­ing to make a living. The coun­cil is known glob­ally be­cause of some of our artistes who have done well in­clud­ing Iyasa,” said Khu­malo.

How­ever, act­ing mayor Col­let Ndlovu among other coun­cil­lors had been against the idea say­ing coun­cil­lors needed to con­sider op­er­a­tional ex­penses be­fore mak­ing the de­ci­sion. He was sup­ported by coun­cil­lors in­clud­ing Cllr Si­las Chig­ora who ar­gued that the de­ci­sion to of­fer free use of the City Hall will set a wrong prece­dence for like minded groups want­ing to use the hall.

Nku­l­uleko Nkala said they were grate­ful for the support they had re­ceived from coun­cil.

“Although we haven’t got for­mal com­mu­ni­ca­tion, we ap­pre­ci­ate that our city fa­thers recog­nise the im­por­tance of the arts. We wel­come them into the fam­ily of the Bu­l­awayo arts awards. We en­cour­age other peo­ple in the city who have in­flu­ence and are in busi­ness to em­u­late what the City of Bu­l­awayo has done,” Nkala said.

He said prepa­ra­tions for the awards were go­ing on well with artistes sub­mit­ting their nom­i­na­tion forms. A May 15 dead­line has been set for the en­tries. The Bu­l­awayo Arts Awards were launched last month to recog­nise those who have ex­celled in the arts within Bu­l­awayo and its sur­round­ing Mata­bele­land prov­inces.

Arts per­son­al­i­ties at Bu­l­awayo Arts Awards launch last month

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