Nov 24, 2012

Ngoma Awards 2012

The Ngoma Awards are back!
The 15th Annual Ngoma Awards which are designed to recognise artistes in creative writing, visual arts, theatre and media arts are slated on Wednesday, 19th December, 2012. The awards which are hosted by the National Arts council of Zambia (NAC) and sponsored by Zambian Breweries are back after a two year hiatus.

This year in the category of the Chairman’s Award there is an opportunity for Zambians in Diaspora who have attained outstanding achievement in the arts, in film, music, literature, visual arts, theater, dance, acting to be honoured.
The criteria is as follows:

“A Zambian in Diaspora; man or woman of Zambian descent who has attained outstanding achievements in the arts sector in their country of residence or further.”

Nomination Categories:

Literary arts- Poetry | Literature (Fact/Fiction)
Visual Arts – drawing | architecture | sculpting | photography | Fashion
Theatre & Media Arts – Film | Theatre
Contemporary Music
Traditional Music & Dance

The period of qualification is from November 2011 to November 2012. Qualifying works need to have been created/produced/released during this period.

The Nomination period close date is Tuesday 27th November 2012       

You can submit your nominations via email to: c1rca1964z {at} gmail {dot} com

On Wednesday 29th November the Awards Nomination party will be held at LIV Club in Lusaka. From 18 hrs -21 hrs.

All nominees shall be announced, along with announcement of planned performers at the awards, details of the event, etc.

Nov 23, 2012

Mulenga's Hole in the Wall

If you are interested in Zambian art – paintings, sculptures, exhibitions, and so forth I highly recommend that you follow Andrew Mulenga’s blog. Andrew writes a weekly column in The Post newspaper, ‘Mulenga’s Hole in the Wall’ and has an unwavering dedication to highlighting art and entertainment. He is also the current holder of the 2012 CNN Journalist Arts and Culture award.

I’ve been reading his blog for some time now and it dawned on me that I hadn’t given him a deserved shout out. I appreciate his work introducing many artists to readers and art enthusiasts across the world.

You can find his blog here

Nov 22, 2012

On 1st Ladies and Budgets

There’s a debate raging among Zambians about parliament’s recent decision to allocate K1.5b (US $285,709) in the 2013 budget to the office of the First Lady. The first bone of contention is that there is no official office for the First Lady under the Zambian constitution. All previous presidents’ spouses have undertaken various charitable initiatives but at no point has there been specific budget allocation for these activities.

The current government has argued that they are trying to be transparent because money has been spent in the past just not in the open as they are doing by going through parliament to get the budgetary authority. While I commend them for bringing the issue for discussion, I am not entirely sure why this isn’t coupled with a proposal to make the office an official one. It seems to the rational thing to do in my mind.

How can you ask the people of Zambia to fork over K1.5b to the president’s spouse when we don’t know how the money will be spent, who will approve and audit the expenditures, who are accountable for any misuse, and so forth? I understand the role of a president’s spouse isn’t merely one of a host(ess) in this day and age. Many are involved in projects locally and regionally which require funding for travel but as I understand it these expenses are typically covered by the funds allocated to State House annually. Why the additional funds?

I have vacillated back and forth about an official office for the president’s spouse. I’m against it because when I think about it almost all the goodwill activities undertaken by this person often complement and run parallel to work being done by a specific ministry, government agency or non-governmental organisation. It doesn’t make sense to replicate services when this ‘office’ does not have a clear mandate.

Furthermore, we’ve also seen how charitable activities undertaken by first ladies are used as tools for political purposes. Example: in the build up to a bye-election the organisation and its famous patron are seen handing out food, medicines, bicycles, etc and when the politicians swoop in to campaign the voters are primed and ready to repay the goodwill with their “YES” vote at the polls.

So, do we want to further institutionalize patronage using money that could otherwise be spent on services that benefit a larger portion of the population? My answer is no though I am willing to hear contrary arguments. 

Nov 21, 2012

Youth Participation and Leadership pt. III

This past Saturday concluded our series on Youth Participation and Leadership. In a two hour long special we interview the president of the National Restoration Party, Mr Elias Chipimo Jr. Mr Chipimo is a trained lawyer and aspiring president of Zambia; he has spoken a lot about the need for youth inclusion in Zambia’s society.

This interview gave us the opportunity to learn more about his ideas for youth employment and empowerment among other issues. It was a thoroughly enjoyable discussion with him, and has generated a lot of buzz. As a result of the feedback we've received thus far, Mr Chipimo has graciously agreed to respond to follow up questions, so if you have any after listening please feel free to send those to me. You can do so in the comments box below. 

Happy listening.  

Nov 16, 2012

Youth Participation and Leadership pt. II

In the second part of our Youth Participation and Leadership series, we focused on how to take great ideas shared on our social media platforms, blogs, email strings, etc to the “real world” and start working to implement them. This was a lively 2-hour conversation, I hope you enjoy it. 

Youth Participation and Leadership pt. I

This month on Zambia Blog Talk Radio I’m hosting a 3-part series on Youth Participation and Leadership. The idea for this came after multiple ongoing conversations among my peers and I with regard to what we can do to effect change in our respective countries. This is not centred on the political sphere which usually gets the lion’s share of attention. This is about what we can do be better citizens and workers in all areas be it as teachers, caregivers, writers, engineers, etc.

I’ve been lucky to have a great co-host, Jonah Banda, who has helped steer the conversation as well as other contributors who’ve taken the time to call in, send me tweets, and emails.

Here’s the audio for part 1.