CRAFT festival highlights raw youth talent in arts

HARARE – The inaugural Creative Reproductive Health Arts Festival (CRAFT) is set to spotlight marginalised youth talent in the arts industry.

Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT), with support from the Swedish Embassy, will headline this Saturday’s CRAFT at Harare Gardens, where 36 contestants from across the country will compete for prestigious awards.

SAYWHAT Senior Programmes Officer Leo Munyonho said CRAFT was a choreographed event for budding and upcoming artists to hobnob with household names such as Sungura maestro Aleck Macheso in order to perfect their talents.

“We want to make sure that the young people we are grooming will have an opportunity to work and partner with the already established brands like Macheso.

“This is a deliberate effort to uplift young people and artists from where they are to a better place.

“We want them to be identified by these renowned bands and artists for the betterment of their budding arts careers,” said Munyonho.

CRAFT, which is designed to amplify youth voices on issues concerning sexual reproductive health services and other socioeconomic issues affecting communities, will feature a number of well-known artists.

Apart from Macheso, other popular artists set to grace the event include Anita Jaxson, Enzo Ishal, comedian Nigel the Slick Pastor, Freeman, and Gringo Jnr.

The ages of young contestants competing at CRAFT range from 10 to 24 and they will take part in in a variety of genres such as music, poetry, public speaking, and drama.

CRAFT, according to Munyonho, also encouraged young artists to use the clout of social media platforms to establish themselves.

“We are clear that our young people get to use the social media trends that are there.

“Popularity is now coming with proper use of social media and these renowned artists we have today have managed to amplify their works and talents through social media branding,” Munyonho said.

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