April 29, 2005

NEWS: Chipawo Introduces New Concept (ZIMBABWE)

Chipawo Introduces New Concept

The Herald (Harare)
April 26, 2005
Posted to the web April 26, 2005

CHILDREN'S Performing Arts Workshop (Chipawo) Media Centre has introduced the "Kwikstart" media learning programme so that children can learn and experiment with cameras, make short video programmes and edit their own work.

The Herald visited the Media Centre in Mount Pleasant during a media tour where it caught up with some of the children shooting a documentary called "Handspeak" that was co-ordinated by deaf children.

The fully-equipped centre has digital and linear video, sound and studio facilities.

It offers video and sound services as well as training on how to use cameras.

"Because of its expansion, Chipawo can no longer be called a children's performing arts workshop, instead 'Arts Education for Development and Employment' best describes what the organisation is doing in promoting children through arts.

"Training the children how to use the camera, image editing, video and sound recording is a way of preparing a new generation of young, creative and imaginative filmmakers, camera persons and editors for the future development of Zimbabwean film and television," said Robert McLaren, executive director of Chipawo.

He further added that the programme was a very effective way of empowering the girl-child because men dominate television although there are few women directors.

"A number of girls are selected to go to the media centre for training and set up their own video projects usually focusing on issues and topics that concern them," he said. Also provided by the media centre are vocational skills training in media for young school leavers from 20 rural communities where Chipawo has assisted the community open arts education for development and employment. The media also visited the Zimbabwe Academy of Arts Education for Development, a division responsible for all of Chipawo's training programmes.

The academy in conjunction with the Midlands State University provides a diploma in media arts and performing arts, as well as a certificate in music, dance, drama and theatre arts.

The tour took journalists to Chipawo's main offices in Marlborough where most of the business is done in terms of the manufacturing of musical instruments, costume designing and bookings.

According to MacLaren, a new centre dubbed "Umtwana-Children's Development and Entertainment" centre is on the cards.

Chipawo, founded in 1989, has made great achievements in empowering children and the society through arts education.

SOURCE: http://allafrica.com/stories/200504260509.html
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