Vet­eran arts ad­min­is­tra­tor keeps low pro­file

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Farming - Bheku­muzi Ncube Sun­day Life Re­porter

WHILE any mem­ber from the arts fra­ter­nity will do any gim­micks to at­tain pub­lic­ity and fame, the same can­not be said about one of Bu­l­awayo’s most cre­ative arts ad­min­is­tra­tor, Ad­mond Des­mond Ntini.

Ntini, who is pop­u­larly known as “The Man­ager” in arts cir­cles, has been in­stru­men­tal in “work­ing be­hind the scenes” at renowned Bu­l­awayo arts groups that went gold.

He worked as an ad­min­is­tra­tor of the suc­cess­ful Umkhathi The­atre Works from 2006 to 2007 be­fore mov­ing to man­age award win­ning Siyaya Arts in 2008.

The two fa­mous groups have be­yond doubt, flew Zim­babwe’s flag high dur­ing their fruit­ful in­ter­na­tional tours.

“I am a be­hind the scenes pro­fes­sional and I like it that way. The fun thing is that I am not the only per­son who is keep­ing a low pro­file but has been piv­otal in the suc­cess of many arts projects in Bu­l­awayo. Thu­lani ‘Javas’ Sibanda, Rue (Run­yararo Mu­tandi) of Int­wasa or Mercy (Kayumba) of Iyasa have col­lec­tively driven Bu­l­awayo arts be­hind the scenes,” he said.

Ntini has worked with many artistes such as Dr Mahlaba Banda, Njab­ulo Moyo, Jeys Mara­bini, De­sire “Moy­ox­ide” Moyo, Im­pumelelo Shin­ing Stars, San­dra Nde­bele, Du­misani Mh­langa the Poet, Obert Dube (Im­bongi), Thandy Dlana and Qeqe.

As if the list is not enough, Ntini is the man­ager of United King­dom-based maskandi artiste, Sisa Senkosi. Ntini said he was also in­stru­men­tal in the for­ma­tion of Nobuntu Dance En­sem­ble which was cur­rently tour­ing be­yond bor­ders.

“I have worked with nu­mer­ous artistes that have grown to be suc­cess­ful but many of them have been un­grate­ful for my role in their rise to star­dom. Many arts groups in the re­gion have con­sulted me dur­ing their for­ma­tive stage. I ad­vise groups and in­di­vid­ual artistes from as far as Beitbridge and Vic­to­ria Falls,” he said.

Ntini lauded Skyz Metro FM for re­viv­ing the pro­duc­tion of mu­sic in Bu­l­awayo.

“Skyz Metro FM and this year’s Bu­l­awayo Arts Awards set up pos­i­tive trends for arts. Artistes now work ex­tremely hard to pro­duce mu­sic. They are aware that their mu­sic will re­ceive air­play. The suc­cess of BAA made sure that artistes re­main de­ter­mined and per­se­ver­ant to bag more awards in next year’s edition,” he said.

Ntini also ex­pressed faith in the ap­point­ment of Hon­or­able Makhosini Hlong­wane as the Min­is­ter of Sports, Arts and Cul­ture.

“I have worked with Hon­ourable Hlong­wane in some of my health and de­vel­op­ment pro­grams. He is young and en­er­getic which suits the can­di­date for an arts min­is­ter. He is a pur­pose­fully driven man. As a mem­ber of the arts fam­ily, I only hope he de­liv­ers what is lack­ing in the in­dus­try,” he said.

Sun­day Life also asked Ntini who is cur­rently the Int­wasa Fes­ti­val co-or­di­na­tor on the chal­lenges faced by Int­wasa Fes­ti­val that crip­pled this year’s edition. He said fi­nan­cial prob­lems re­mained a key chal­lenge.

“Int­wasa is our fes­ti­val and I can never crit­i­cise it in pub­lic even if there was some­thing wrong with the re­cent edition. We have chan­nels to ex­press our griev­ances should there be any. How­ever, let me has­ten to say that fund­ing is prov­ing dif­fi­cult for fes­ti­vals. The econ­omy is not do­ing jus­tice to the fes­ti­val,” he said.

Ntini was born in Njube sub­urb and was in­volved in arts ac­tiv­i­ties at Njube High School.

His break­through into the arts in­dus­try came after a suc­cess­ful church play which led renowned Cont Mh­langa to recog­nise him. He said it was through Mh­langa that he be­came a cre­ative arts ad­min­is­tra­tor.

“Church plays took me to Amakhosi and up un­til now, Mh­langa calls me Preacher. He shaped my ca­reer as a cre­ative arts ad­min­is­tra­tor and man­ager. I am very much thank­ful to the Bu­l­awayo icon,” he said.

Be­sides art, Ntini said he was in­volved in an in­ter­na­tional project that seeks to shape lives of young peo­ple.

“I am cur­rently in­volved in a project that helps young peo­ple ob­tain mean­ing­ful work, en­gage or start their own business and be­come com­mu­nity lead­ers. The project pro­motes pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ment and a health liv­ing for younger gen­er­a­tion,” he said.

Ad­mond Des­mond Ntini

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