Zimbabwe/ 8.1 Support to artists and other creative workers  

8.1.3 Grants, awards, scholarships

The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe launched the inaugural National Arts Merit Awards, popularly known as NAMA in February 2002.  The occasion of the National Arts Merit Awards is the main forum where the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe recognises outstanding achievements in the area of Arts. It covers seven categories of the arts namely dance, film, literary arts, theatre, visual arts, media and music. By rewarding excelling artistes with the awards of merit, NAMA aims at stimulating more interest in the arts and raise the profile of the same. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe considers the awards as one of the means that will stimulate and encourage creativity and quality in the arts. This is purely an initiative of the government through its parastatals but it is done with funding from private sector and donors. 

Awards are also given by artists unions and associations. In March 2011 the Zimbabwe Theatre Association, as part of national activities to commemorate the World Theatre Day, conferred vital recognition awards to prominent theatre practitioners and institutions in Zimbabwe. These awards are given with the support of the National Arts Council but they are initiated by arts associations.

There are no scholarships that are being offered to students who intend to study arts and culture by the government of Zimbabwe or its partner donor organisations. Most of the scholarships that are administered by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education are meant to cater for critical manpower shortage areas such as Medicine, Engineering, Architecture, Quantity Surveying, Computer Sciences, Actuarial Sciences, Law and many others (http://www.mhet.ac.zw/index.php/scholarships). Since the arts do not fall in the category of scarce skills they usually do not get an allocation of available scholarships. 

The Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education of Zimbabwe is also currently offering studying assistance to students who are studying at higher tertiary institutions through a programme called cadetship. Under this programme funded students will be bonded to the government for an agreed number of years after completing their degrees. This programme, though not specifically meant to cater for artists, it ultimately caters for students who are studying towards arts-related qualifications such as degrees in Theatre Arts and in Heritage.

Chapter published: 28-09-2011