National Schools Youth Arts Festival (Nasfest) which is now Nasfest International Youth Arts Festival is expected to decorate Zimbabwean arts practitioner Chidochemoyo Musasiwa- Gutu with a Noble Award this year.
The Nasfest International Youth Arts Festival will be held at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe on February 7-8 2020.
The festival is driven by Light of Youth Creative Organisation (Lyco) led by its Executive Director James Kitchen.
Kitchen said yesterday they decided to honour the Zimbabwean artist better known as Chido for uplifting theatre in the region but also working with children to promote arts and culture in schools.
“She is building a Cultural Village whereby all tribes in Zimbabwe will have its compound or hut. We got connected to her affected after being invited in Zimbabwe last year in July and we were inspired and motivated by her work,” Kitchen said.
This is the first time for Nasfest to give the award to a foreign artist.
“This is not the first time we are giving this award. Other recipients include Mathews Mfune of Music Crossroads Malawi, Joyce Mhango Chavula and Smith Likongwe. And this year, we will award only one woman,” Kitchen said.
He said honouring Chido was also part of strengthening regional ties and at the same time building a vibrant creative sector.
“Last year our counterparts from Zimbabwe invited us to be part of their festival and this year we have one of their own being decorated. This gives us new ideas and learning process and all this is about networking and cultural exchange,” Kitchen said.
Chido said yesterday she was delighted to be honoured by Nasfest.
“I am really humbled to be given the award. I am an artist manager and I manage Ammara Brown and I am also a booking agent for Sniper Storm and Jr Bantan but I work with a lot of artists in my advertising agency,” she said.
Chido said she runs a schools arts festival called Let Them Trust and that it was through this platform that she met the Malawian counterparts.
“The vision is to have schools from Malawi coming to our festival and let them bring schools from there. It is not only Malawi but other countries as well,” she said.
The artist said they were embarking on an interesting project of building the Cultural Village.
“So when students from all over the world come, they will have a truly Zimbabwean experience from where they will be living to what they will eat as well as activities they will participate in. I am an actress as well but time is becoming a limiting factor so I select my projects carefully,” she said.
Currently the president of Agora Club Zimbabwe, a charitable club that promotes service in the community and friendship within members, Chido, said she was looking forward to patronising Nasfest.
Meanwhile Kitchen, said as part of networking and also cultural exchanges, they will this year have performances from Zimbabwe coming from Let Them Trust and Chipawo Childrens whereas Zambia will have Assitej Zambia, Kasama Arts Zambia and Mtsinje Trust.