Zimbabwean poets and theatre practitioners yesterday commemorated the belated co-joined World Theatre Day and Poetry Day at Theatre in The Park.
The day is celebrated on March 21 every year and locals decided to celebrate the day later due to logistical problems.
The event ran under the theme, ‘Poetry and Theatre Entrepreneurship for development in the cultural and creative spaces’ in a bid to promote the local acts in the sector.
Poets and dancers, including Luckmore Magaya, Tinashe Muchuri and the Elysium Group, showcased their talents on stage.
According to the organisers, the event was supported by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Zimbabwe Theatre Academy, Educational Technology Centre (ETC), Afriremedy, Zimbabwe Theme Association (ZITA), Rooftop Association Information Technology Institute (ITI), Govron Chemicals and Elysium dance theatre.
In an interview, poet Luckmore Magaya, who doubled as master of ceremonies, said poetry and theatre works should be taken seriously to sustain livelihoods.
“I have been in the industry for more than 10 years now performing in both respects, but today I was honoured to be part of this event as it gave me more wisdom on how to further my studies and crave more for theatre,” he said.
Magaya said that he turned to poetry at a very young age after his father passed on.
“My family supported me. I started performing internationally and learnt a lot. Arts industry is all about character as talent without character is simple potential.”
Magaya advised people who have the talent to take arts as a business.
“You need to take arts seriously and make it an entrepreneurial skill or activity then you package and sell it as a tourism package then you make it either virtually or physically. Theatre can be a tool to convey important messages through dancing and singing as was performed by Elysium.”
He said over the years, World Poetry Day commemorations had centred on poetry performances that tackled and addressed topical issues affecting the entire world.
Speaking at the same event, the assistant director of arts promotions development at the National Arts Council (NACZ) Barbara Gotore said was very pleased with the poetry and theatre day.
“For us as the National Arts Council, it is a great achievement for the development of the arts sector,” she said.
“On this day, the significance is on expanding variety and making awareness among people in this world and the importance of indigenous languages.”
Theatre is a tool of choice for community development practitioners for it encourages activity involvement of theatre consumers, particularly when they are trying to invoke behaviour change in communities.