Reproductive Health Creative Arts Festival on Cards

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Harare Gardens will host the inaugural Creative Reproduction Health Arts Festival (CRAFT) on October 22, which will see 36 contestants from all 10 provinces of the country battle it out for honours.

The participants are the first winners of the national CHASE competition, which was held between March and May this year.

Its aim was to give young people between the ages of 10 and 24 the opportunity to showcase their talents in using poetry, drama, music and public speaking to generate and spread messages about sexual health and rights and reproductive rights of young people, including the highlighting of violence.

For the festival, selected applicants will be expected to develop and contextualize their performances and artistic products around the theme “Amplifying Youth Voices on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender-Based Violence through Art”.

The event is organized by the public health social movement organization Students and Youth Working on Reproductive Health Action Team (SAYWHAT) with the support of the Swedish Embassy in Zimbabwe.

According to the organizers, CRAFT refers to the creativity that young people incorporate into their products as they seek to influence positive behaviors in their respective communities, with the aim of transforming them into a society free from gender-based violence as well as aware of the sexual and reproductive health. communities.

The arts festival also aims to prepare and educate young people to become recognizable artists as they advance the sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence agenda.

Three winners in the theater, poetry, music and public speaking categories will have their products recorded, perfected and promoted on national media platforms.

The winner of the music category will have a collaboration with a seasoned artist, while the finalists will have their songs recorded in a studio of their choice. In the drama category, the national winner, first runner-up and second runner-up will have their plays aired on national television. This also applies to poetry and public speaking categories.

Events scheduled for the day include performances by sungura maestro Aleck Macheso, Zimdancehall singers Kudzanai “Enzo Ishall” Mamhare and Freeman.

Anita Jackson will double as judge and performer. The other judges are Pastor Nigel Tha Slick and Blessing Ndlovu.

Health service providers will also provide their services on the ground.

SAYWHAT’s strategic approach to programming is centered on creating synergies and viable partnerships with health service providers.

Speaking to Standard Style SAYWHAT’s Chief Information Officer, Costa Nkomo, said that after determining the provincial winners through the CHASE competition, they then set up a mentorship program where they have sought out seasoned artists in the categories that defined the competition. Participants completed a two-month mentorship program where they were mentored by artists from their respective provinces; this structure was used for all other categories.

“When we were doing the CHASE competition at the provincial level, we noticed that although we had winners, there was a lot of skill shortages,” Nkomo said.

“So we put together a deliberate program to mentor them so that when they come for the festival they know how to engage audiences, how to structure their presentations and also appreciate how important it is for their organization to be in relation to their parts or performances.

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