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R. Maclaren, CHIPAWO
October 27, 2008
I am back from South Africa. After attending the Umoja Camp in Johannesburg
I took some time off for personal and family business. Was thrown
into the deep end on my arrival home by the need to assist with
a performance for the United Nations family on UN Day, Friday 24th.
We are now trying to make as strong a case as we can to the Reserve
Bank that we should be permitted sufficient cash to implement at
least some of our most important programmes (see below). Ironically
while the cash crisis is crippling our operations, another problematic
factor, the power supply, has experienced an encouraging improvement.
We also need to solve the problem of premises, which has been made
worse by the landlord at our town office indicating that our operations
are not compatible with his and asking us to move out as soon as
possible. Though we are not running on full steam, we are trying
to as much as we can in the circumstances, hoping that it will not
be long before we can get back to full production. Meanwhile for
an account of what is going on (and also what is not going on),
closure of Chipawo
CHIPAWO is still
closed for business except for essential services owing to the unavailability
of cash for staff and children's fares. We are making an assessment
of what more we can do and going to approach the Reserve Bank direct
for permission to draw sufficient cash to make things happen. The
following is a provisional list of what we hope to keep going:
of European Union Girl Power and HIV/AIDS participatory theatre
- The CHIPAWO
Christmas Stage and Television Shows - by children's demand.
of the second series of deaf television in Sign Language, Action
of the Children's Council and the Youth Council
- Confirm our
agreement with Rainbow for a CHIPAWO video rental and sale section
in their outlets
of marking and examination results for Diploma in Performing Arts
Part 1 and planning for Part 2
- Launch CHIPAWO@20
Visit to BAT
centre/urban voices international arts festival.
I was lucky
that my short visit to my birthplace, Durban, coincided with a festival
at the BAT Centre. CHIPAWO Trustee and Zimbabwean performance and
published poet, Titus Moetsabi, was our host and with him we attended
a poetry evening featuring poets from Jamaica. I met again, Nise,
the Director of the Centre, and was introduced to Bayanda, the Youth
Development Officer. The Centre is organising youth and children's
events for 2010 and they had already decided that CHIPAWO should
be involved so it was a fortuitous meeting.
impresses on UN day
been invited by the organizers of the official commemoration of
UN Day, Friday, 24th October, to be held at the Rainbow Towers (formerly
Sheraton). They requested a music and dance item as well as a play
highlighting the family of UN bodies and the work they do. Steve
Chifunyise, Chairman of CHIPAWO as well as Zimbabwe's most prolific
playwright, knocked up a script in a very short time and the young
members of the CHIPAWO Harare Youth Theatre with others from the
Youth Programme, managed to get the rather difficult text memorized
and with a little direction from Chipo Basopo, the Programme Officer,
and myself, as CHIPAWO Acting Performances Director, they were able
to come up with a lively and fun-filled Zimbabwean family performance
for the international family of the United Nations. The performance
was attended by the entire UN community as well as representatives
from government ministries.
best of onstage Chipawo
Media have been
able to sustain the Best of Onstage television series featuring
performances filmed for television. This will round off the Onstage
series which has been on the box since the early part of last year.
The Launch of CHIPAWO@20 has had to be postponed. We shall be informing
you of the new date as soon as we know.
education for development and employment programme
The AEDE Programme
which is where CHIPAWO works with children at centres all over Harare,
Chitungwiza, Bindura, Norton and Domboshawa is a core CHIPAWO activity.
Unfortunately owing to the unstable situation in most schools and
the inability to get cash for fares so that arts educators can travel
to the centres, the programme was suspended this term - for the
very first time since 1989. It is hoped that it will resume in the
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