BY SHARON SIBINDI
BULAWAYO visual artist Charles Dube has urged government to come up with a policy that will help promote the growth of visual artists.
Dube last year painted a portrait of President Emmerson Mnangagwa that was displayed during the Independence Day celebrations at the National Sports Stadium in Harare.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Dube said the government must intervene to serve the visual arts sector, which he said was mostly looked down upon, yet was part of the backbone of the country’s tourism industry.
“The problem with visual arts is that it is being looked down upon in Zimbabwe. We need the government to come up with a policy that boosts the arts industry, particularly visual arts,” he said.
“A lot of tourists come into the country and see a lot of good and attractive products done by sculptors and painters, among others. If the tourists buy and take our artefacts to their countries, they are appreciating how great the art from Zimbabwe is.”
Dube said there was need to train young artists to bequeath their gifts to the next generation.
“We are suffering and I have been in this field (visual art) for close to three decades, specialising on portraits. The sector is being ignored and I feel this is why young talent is being wasted as they feel or have a belief that art is useless,” he said.
“I appeal to the corporate world and the government to help me with resources to train the young artists so that we leave a legacy for them. There is need to train fresh blood.”