OLGA MUHWATI is a versatile and Iconic Zimbabwean cultural Arts Chronicler and International renowned Media celebrity . Muhwati has worked immensely in promoting the vision and the programming of the Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe . She is a seasoned media corp , a Prolific Relationship Management Expert. An accomplished Arts and Cultural Administrator ,currently plying her trade with a Netherlands based Arts Organisation Musicians Without Borders. Mbizo Chirasha , AFRICA WRITERS CARAVAN Chronicler had a close up with the Arts and Cultural Expert Olga Muhwati on sidelines of Arts on Digital Spaces Symposium .
#INSIDE THE Arts on Digital Spaces Studio with Cultural Arts Personality,Olga Muhwati #
Mbizo CHIRASHA .You played a great part in the publicity of the Culture Fund Trust of Zimbabwe. There is no doubt that you are a goal -getter and everything you touch turns platinum, what is your success secret?
Olga Muhwati.That’s very flattering thank you. On my own I try to approach everything I do with passion and deidication. In particular reference to the Culture Fund, I have to say success was possible working alongside a great team focused on delivering the best to the arts and the culture sector in the country but also further ensuring that we are accoutable to our stakeholders including the arts community at large and our major donors. I also have to say under the mentorship and stewadship of Mr. Farai Mpfunya I was able to achieve as much as I did. Organisations and managers would benefit from creating a culture where by employees are passionate about the work they do and go above and beyond what the role requires. That was my own personal mantra while I was at the organisation.
Mbizo CHIRASHA .How long have you been working with Arts and Culture organizations and What your experiences?
Olga Muhwati. I have been working in the arts sector since I finished high school in 2004. My first experience was in front of the camera, in a guest role for a short film directed by Trevor Chidzodzo, but it was immediately clear to me that I was not meant for the front of the camera. From then on I went on to wrk with Creative Native produced Waiters sitcom under the stewardship of Daves Guzha. I also worked as a film forum coordinator for the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, whilst also working as production assistant for the short fil project. Upon graduation I started off at Cutlure Fund as an intern in 2008 and stayed with the organisation until I relocated to South Africa in 2014. In South Africa I established amonthly poetry event with the secondary goal of providing vital inter generational networking within my circle.
Mbizo CHIRASHA.What are your current projects at the moment, kindly describe them?
Olga Muhwati.Currently I am working as head of fundrasing for a non profit based in Amsterdam The Netherlands where I now live. I am also part of an entreprenuership study project which is helping me develop an entity I ensvion will make considerable to the creative industries in Africa.
Mbizo CHIRASHA.What is your advice to success for women artists, writers and activists in Zimbabwe?
Olga Muhwati .I would for sure say perseverance. If you are passionate enough about anything and willing to put the work in to achieve, others will recognise this passion and for sure assist. Also, do not be afraid to ask for help, be willing to fail, but then learn from that failure and keep going.
Mbizo CHIRASHA.How are you coping during these menacing times of COVID 19?
Olga Muhwati. Covid has drastically affected eveyone around the world in differing degrees and on so many levels, social, economic and mental. I have been lucky enough to have a close knit network rallying around me. I have also taken the time to work on myself personally and career wise while completing my studies through a lot of video conferences!
Mbizo CHIRASHA. Give your honest opinion about the state of Cultural Arts in Zimbabwe with case studies like Zimbabwe International Book FAIR, National Arts Council, Zim Music Rights Association, Zimbabwe Musician Union and Culture Fund?
Olga Muhwati.I believe the arts sector in Zimbabwe is an undiscovered gem. We have so much talent and skills but we need to be able to showcase this beyond our own internal borders. Through the travelling I have been lucky to do I think we have so much potential to participate on many for a and spaces but there needs to be a collective goal as I have seen in other countries. For exanmple in The Netherlands funding for the creative sector is as much a priority as id for example health care at differing degrees of course but the importance is definitely acknowledged. Further, I do believe individual players need to be at some stage look at their individual projects and creation as more than ‘crafts’. That is where organisations as you have listed above come in with real, tangible interventions beyond the so called ‘talk shops’. An honest audit of the industry and strategic vision would be beneficial to the sector in my opinion.
Mbizo CHIRASHA .If you were the Minister of Arts and Culture in Zimbabwe, how best was you going to redefine the Arts Sector?
Olga Muhwati.That’s a big ask. For sure I would start off by lobbying for more funding. Include in the ministry actors from the industry who have real knowledge of the situation on the ground. But I think my biggest first step would be to create a strategy. Without a map and a plan you go nowhere slowly.
Media Personality ,OLGA MUHWATI
Over 8 years of experience developing and conducting sustainable non-profit fundraising strategies and program development whilst coordinating local,regional and international projects and facilitating communication, management and administrative services. Personal vested interest in the business development, capacity building and market development of the creative, and other industries in Africa especially fashion and entrepreneurship support. Holds a Masters in International Business and Economics, as well as Migrant Entrepreneurship Support Capabilities.
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MBIZO CHIRASHA, Chronicler at Africa Writers Caravan. Founder and Author of the Time of the Poet. UNESCO-RILA Affiliate Artist. Featured Poetry Artist at WorldBeyondWar.Org. Freedom of Speech Fellow to PEN- Zentrum Deutschland,Germany..Literary Arts Activism Diplomatie 2020 Poet in Residence at the Fictional Café (International publishing and literary digital space). 2019 Sotambe Festival Live Literature Hub and Poetry Café Curator. 2019 African Fellow for the International Human Rights Art Festival( ihraf.org) , Essays Contributor to Monk Art and Soul Magazine in United Kingdom .Arts Features Writer at the International Cultural Weekly .His Profiles , Interview and Poems are featured on poesis.si ,in Slovenia. Founder and Chief Editor of WOMAWORDS LITERARY PRESS. Founder and Curator of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal. Co-Editor of Street Voices Poetry triluangal collection( English , African Languages and Germany) initiated by Andreas Weiland in Germany. Poetry Contributor to AtunisPoetry.com in Belgium. African Contributor to DemerPress International Poetry Book Series in Netherlands. African Contributor to the World Poetry Almanac Poetry Series in Mongolia. His latest 2019 collection of experimental poetry A LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT was released by Mwanaka Media and Publishing and is both in print, on Amazon.com and at is featured at African Books Collective. Mbizo Chirasha is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. Founder and Creative Director of Girl Child Talent Festival and GirlChildCreativity Project. 2003 Young Literary Arts Delegate to the Goteborg International Book Fair Sweden (SIDA AFRICAN PAVILION) .2009 Poet in Residence of the International Conference of African Culture and Development (ICACD) in Ghana.The Vice President of Poetsof the WORLD,poetasdelmundo.com ,African Region. Global Peace Chain Ambassador. 2009 Fellow to the inaugural UNESCO- Africa Photo- Novel Publishers and Writers Training in Tanzania. 2015 Artist in Residence of the Shunguna Mutitima International Film and Arts Festival in Livingstone, Zambia. A globally certified literary arts influencer, Writer in Residence and Recipient of the EU-Horn of Africa Defend Defenders Protection Fund Grant, Recipient of the Pen Deutschland Exiled Writer Grant. He is an Arts for Peace and Human Rights Catalyst, the Literary Arts Projects Curator, Poet, Writer, publicist is published in more 420 spaces in print and online
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