ONE of the surprise entries in President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s new administration, Kirsty Coventry, has caused a stir in the film industry.
BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
President Emmerson Mnangagwa congratulates new Youth,Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry while Vice-Presidents Constantino Chiwenga and Kembo Mohadi look on after she took oath of office at State House, Harare on Monday
The champion swimmer is set to head the Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation ministry under whose ambit the film industry falls.
Filmmakers have now pinned their hopes for the industry’s growth on Kirsty.
Mirazvo Productions co-producer Nick Zemura said he hoped Kirsty would help promote talent in the country.
“I think it was a brilliant choice. Someone who raised our flag high now gets to help others do the same. Beyond the diversity and youth thing, it just shows a shift from old fraternity politics of ‘because we have done it before’,” he said.
Another filmmaker, Melgin Tafirenyika, said Kirsty was a deserving appointment.
“I personally think she deserves it and the arts industry will never be the same again,” he said.
Film producer Sizhakele Mukwedini said Kirsty has to swim over several barriers and ensure that all the sectors involved in her ministry are well represented.
“She will have to strike a balance so that the arts, youth and recreation are not neglected. I pray that happens,” she said.
Another thespian, Beauty Tsuro, argued that Kirsty’s appointment was a masterstroke because she was skilled in one of the areas falling under her ministry – sport.
“I am sure she’s better than having someone with no skill in any one of the offices she will be representing. Let’s give her our support,” she said.
The Alpha Media Holdings 100 Great Zimbabweans People’s Choice award winner, Washington Masenda, however said his fear was that Kirsty may end up leaning more on the sport sub-sector, neglecting other areas under her ambit.
“She may be biased towards sports than creative arts unless we put a position paper. Change of ministers before delivery is affecting our sector,” he said.
“It’s very pertinent that she addresses the issue of intellectual property, piracy and training. Improving the market and the ease of doing business are also urgent matters.”