July 3, 2014 by KB

Living in Bulawayo, and I would imagine, just like in many other cities on the continent, has a fair bit of challenges. Man, from the rampant unemployment levels, corruption, random power-cuts. It can be, sometimes, become very easy to give up. But amid the prevailing and rather gloomy outlook, this city is still capable of pulling off pleasant surprises. Memorable surprises that can completely and utterly change your outlook, forever. Moments that can, to a first time visitor, create fond and lasting impressions of Bulawayo.

Those are some of the thoughts that went through my balding head on Friday evening as I found myself at the Bulawayo Theatre, in time for the start of a poetry event titled ‘Umlomo Wakho Poetry Slam’, or something to that effect. Lively performances by Nomashawekazi Damasane, Tshwarelo Mothobi, BlackTie and others warmed up the wintry evening and served as a timely reminder that there is hope. Hope for our art industry in Matabeleland, hope for our beautiful but mostly dysfunctional country.

There is a new generation of artists coming up in Bulawayo and from the little of what I have seen in the past three months, our art is alive and moving on, in spite of very little or no support from our struggling private sector or the much maligned government. And, as long as we have art, we have life. The role played by art during our dark periods is at best, underappreciated and at worst, ignored.
Peace and love to Butshilo,Tshwarelo, Mgcini, Khuxman, Lady Tshawe, Raisedon Baya, Thandi Dhlana, Xmile, Ntando Moyo, Zet Moyo; man, everyone of you that is doing your bit to keep our performing arts industry alive.
Siyabonga ngomsebenzi omuhle.