Artistes, like footballers, suffer from the stereotype that we are of loose morals, uncultured or just talented and not learned.
I like that somehow everyday, there is someone proving that wrong. Just last year Sandra Ndebele passed her O-Level Mathematics. I can count dozens who have degrees or diplomas in associated fields.
I also like how we actually have degreed theatre and film practitioners who are actually doing what they love. Instead of suffering from the brain drain, we are gaining.
Many years ago I got introduced to dance group Simunye Simunye. They were at the time probably the only serious competition to globetrotting Iyasa. They quickly made a name for themselves as the one serious option to Iyasa and a taste to difference in terms of dance. Their strength was the local flavour which endeared them with even the likes of Oliver Mtukudzi for they took Tozeza Baba and made it theirs.
Among this group of dancers was one young man Larrington Mudare. He was not the most talented or charismatic Simunye member. People knew Future Dube and Tichaona Karuma who are now directors of Khaya Arts and Izenzo Performing Arts respectively.
Anyway, to cut the long story short Larry soon grew an interest for arts administration and he was soon appointed co-ordinator for the group and thata��s when most of us paid attention to his willingness to learn new things.
While at Simunye he fell in love with graphic design and I have to say his first year graphics were hideous. He still did not give up.
In 2016 he went to officially study graphic design and arts at the Bulawayo Polytechnic, a smart move I must say because since the turn of 2017, he has pretty much designed for every big event. He has designed for Intwasa Arts Festival, Bulawayo Arts Awards, Skyz Metro Awards, Ibumba Festival, 11/ 11 and Winky D a�� Nust Show to name a few.
He is the designer behind most local artistic shows. I must say the certification has made him a better designer and the practice has made him a top designer.
With the number of political parties coming up, I am sure he is counting down to his big pay day. I will definitely use him for my campaign poster.
In related news, of which Ia��m caught in between whether to celebrate or cry. The National Arts Council director Elvas Mari resigned this week. He worked at the National Arts Council for 16 years of which he was director for eight years.
Chief among his achievements was organising National Arts Merit Awards (Nama), Jikinya Traditional Dance Competitions and successfully lobbying Government to gazette Statutory Instrument 136 of 2003 which allowed artists to import musical, broadcasting, recording and PA Systems duty free.
I am a beneficiary of that instrument. More could be done to further benefit our arts. Fare thee well Comrade Elvas Mari, you fought a good fight. Here is wishing you well on your future endeavours.