The Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust is a unique organization working within African communities and serving as an active social transformation agent through investments in innovative and sustainable creative sector capacities. The Culture Fund is registered in Zimbabwe as a not-for-profit Trust.
Enabling a culture and creativity enriched society.
To contribute to the growth of vibrant arts and cultural sectors; through financing and technical support to and collaborations with targeted arts and cultural practitioners, institutions, and community-based organisations in Zimbabwe, Africa, African-diaspora and the world.
Culture Fund believes that its business practices should be tested for integrity and legality so that operations should be efficient and quality never compromised.
Culture Fund Board of Trustees
Cynthia Malaba - Board Chairperson*
Stanford Chabaya - Board Vice-Chairperson*
Gilmore T. Khumalo
Mungai Lenneiye (PhD)
Prof. Gerald Mazarire
Farai Mpfunya* (Executive Director)
(*retiring in 2022)
Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Board of Trustees Renewal on Course
In line with good corporate governance and its staggered succession processes, three Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust board trustees will retire in 2022 after diligently serving their full terms of office. This comes as Culture Fund recently launched its new Strategy Plan | New Era, New Technologies, New Pathways (2021-25); gearing the Fund into intensifying governance-of-culture advocacy, strengthening its creative ecosystem leadership capabilities while forging new ways of programming and diversifying programme funding sources within a post-COVID-19 and increasingly digital era. Young African creatives and community-generated solutions will receive special attention.
Highly regarded chartered accountant and former Delta Corporation Supply Chain Director, Cynthia Malaba; Masawara Group of companies Head of Financial Strategy, Stanford Chabaya, and former FBC Holdings Head of Marketing and current Head of Change Management at Xarani, Priscilla Sadomba – are leaving a legacy of good corporate governance and contribution to socio-economic development within the Cultural and Creative Industries. Staggered retirement and renewal of the Board maintains balance of expertise, deepened diversity, experience and social standing that guarantees organizational integrity.
Cynthia Malaba was appointed Culture Fund Board of Trustees Chairperson in 2019, having previously served as Deputy Chairperson to the late Gift Sibanda – retired Director-General of the African Regional Intellectual Property Organisation (ARIPO). Stanford Chabaya served as her deputy. Development Expert and women rights advocate, Eunice Njovana; Scanlen and Holderness Partner and lawyer, Nellie Tiyago-Jinjika; retired World Bank Manager for Zimbabwe and Udugu Institute founder, Mungai Lenneiye; esteemed historian and academic, Professor Gerald Mazarire and award wining influencer, fashion and PR consultant, TV & radio host, Gilmore Q Khumalo - will continue serve on the Board beyond 2022.
The Cynthia Malaba Board attained successes delivering on previous Culture Fund strategy thrusts; infused Culture in development strategies and initiatives to maximise impacts; completed the PEPFAR (USA) in the DREAMS Innovation Challenge programme aimed at reducing HIV/Aids among adolescent girls and young women; initiated and about to oversee the successful completion of the Swedish government funded CultureACTIONs – that sought to reduce gender based violence, child marriages and effects of climate change in targeted communities; led the implementation of the European Union funded Culture at Work Africa programme that promotes intercultural dialogue and social cohesion in fifteen African countries.
During this time, Culture Fund consolidated its Creative Knowledge Toolkit (CKT) – a tool and pedagogy for harnessing the transformative power of the creative arts in development programmes. The Fund remained focused under challenging socio-economic conditions and the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic.
“Culture Fund is renewing its energies, both at management and board levels. Younger people, with new zeal for tackling emergent as well as digital age challenges and opportunities will be key players in our new strategy. Bold decisions will be made in order to back-up new ambitions. The arts and culture sector is coalescing around new ecosystems and seeks broader participation of society and its enjoyment of the arts and culture. Creatives are uniting around the economic dimensions of culture, grouping up to form thriving cultural and creative industries while communities are embracing culture for development approaches such as Culture Fund’s Creative Knowledge Toolkit (CKT)” said Cynthia Malaba. She added, “Most of all, Culture Fund efforts must continue to meaningfully impact communities and societies, arts, cultural and creative sectors in Zimbabwe and beyond.”
Planned Retirement of Culture Fund Executive Director Set for 2022
Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust Board of Trustees are announcing that, effective second half of 2022, Farai Mpfunya, our founding Executive Director, is leaving to start the next chapter of his life of service to Culture, the Arts and development. Over the past 14 years, Farai has created a culture of mutual respect, collaboration, innovation and professionalism within Culture Fund, the Cultural and Creative sectors and the development community.
We are saddened to see him leave but we are so grateful for his tireless efforts in helping build the Culture Fund from its inception in 2006. Working alongside others, Farai envisioned and managed great institutional change for Zimbabwe’s creative ecosystem by creating robust systems and processes for good governance of Culture.
Culture Fund’s vision was born out of the minds of key creative sector leaders who met at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, Chiredzi around 2003; envisioning an organisation capable of harnessing resource and hold them in trust for the benefit of a culture and creativity enriched society. The foundational phase benefited from solid financial and technical support from the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida); who bequeathed one million United States dollars to institutional development of the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe Trust.
Farai’s legacy leaves a lasting impact on the creative sector. In its formative years (2004-2006) the Culture Fund focused its attention on raising funds for heritage, arts and culture in Zimbabwe and setting up the appropriate governance and operating systems to do so. Between 2010 and 2011, the organization adopted new strategic thrusts; infusing culture-dimensions into community-solutions for gender, HIV/AIDS, rights, and environmental issues. In 2012-2014 investments were made towards changing the cultural and creative industries landscape in Zimbabwe. The period 2015-2021 saw an evolved hybrid of sub-granting and innovative, consortia based Culture for Development programming under CultureIMPACTs, and Deepening the Foundations of Peace and Social Cohesion in Zimbabwe, DREAMS Innovation Challenge, CultureACTIONs, Culture at WORK Africa and CreativeACTIONs. New programming addressed intersection of arts, culture, commerce and development issues.
“I am truly buoyed by where Culture Fund sits right now - a professional organisation with a big heart”, said Farai. “In fact, it is the institutional maturity of the Trust that has helped me make this planned decision. Regeneration and planned succession have always been embedded in the Culture Fund DNA. The Culture Fund Board of Trustees have had successful staggered successions since inception of the Trust. In view of global trends and disruptions shaping the post-COVID-19 era; our new Strategy Plan | New Era, New Technologies, New Pathways (2021-25) will intensify our governance-of-culture advocacy, influence and leadership while forging new ways of programming and diversifying our programme funding sources. Young African creatives and community-generated solutions will receive special attention in this new era. Culture Fund is poised to enter an exciting period in its history. A committed Board of Trustees and a capability to recruit highly skilled team for the Secretariat will ensure continued success. I believe that now is the time to make room for renewed and boundless energy.”
The Culture Fund Board of Trustees will soon activate transitional support mechanisms for Farai’s departure; who will continue to lead the organisation until his successor is identified, recruited and properly initiated.
“Farai is a development and creative sector leader of high professional integrity and capacity. He has developed and led a committed team, who play an integral role in the everyday running of our successful not-for-profit organization,” said Cynthia Malaba, Chair of the Board of Trustees. “We will miss Farai but he leaves Culture Fund in a very strong position for future growth and impacts. The Trust fully owns its premises and assets in Milton Park, Harare. We sincerely thank him for his vision, leadership and contribution.”
2020 at a glance
2020 was an extraordinary year. Culture Fund development projects and programmes were implemented within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The arts, cultural and creative sectors were impacted significantly. Spaces of operation and participation were closed, mobility of artists and cultural practitioners was restricted while capacities of community based partners to engage their constituencies was greatly limited. Other challenges emerged. The Zimbabwe economy was hard hit like many others around the world. Jobs and livelihoods were lost. Psycho-social stresses increased, especially in areas that were already fragile. Culture Fund CultureACTIONs project partners reported increased cases of Gender Based Violence and Child Marriages while CreativeACTIONs sub-grantees lamented over lost creative industry opportunities – and mental health strain. Our Culture at Work Africa project partners witnessed similar challenges and applauded the spirit of resilience across many African countries.
Despite these challenges, 2020 reaffirmed the resilient capacities in many Zimbabweans, especially creatives and rural based communities - who had to re-image their very existence and adjusted activities in many innovative ways. We are here looking back and giving you a glimpse of 2020!
We mobilised 5932 community members and raised their awareness on GBV, child marriage and climate change
We promoted speaking out against GBV by referring 362 girls and women to post GBV support services
We empowered 1806 girls and women in communities through knowledge enhancement on GBV and climate change
We mobilised 951 men and boys to be agents for supporting women empowerment within their communities
We engaged 130 traditional leaders to interrogate harmful cultural practices which disempower women and girls
We reached over 15000 online community members during the 16 days of activism against GBV, through the #StillStanding campaign
We enhanced the capacities of 6 innovative and creative organisations and individuals from 5 provinces
We touched lives of girls and women through 13 podcasts discussing women’s issues particularly young women lived experiences
We reached audiences of over 200, 000 people through online comedy festival
We were consortium member of Culture at Work Africa; supporting 33 projects, 90 organizations in 15 sub-Saharan African countries - reaching out to over 20,000 beneficiaries.
The Culture Fund -CultureACTIONs project was launched in 2017 with the aim to reduce Gender-based violence, child marriages and foster environmental sustainability in the face of climate change. It especially targets girls and women. Culture-based arguments and societal norms that disempower girls and women are being debunked through Culture Fund’s Creative Knowledge Toolkit and used in advocacy and awareness campaigns to mitigate the social ills in the four districts of Mazowe, Makoni, Chimanimani and Chipinge.
The project is being implemented by six partners, Diocese of Mutare Community Care Program (DOMCCP), covering Chipinge and Chimanimani districts, Real Open Opportunities for Transformation Support (ROOTS) covering Mazowe district and Women and Land in Zimbabwe (WLZ) in Makoni district. The project has technical partners covering all districts, with different expertise to assist project delivery, Apostolic Women Empowerment Trust (AWET), Chenhaka Trust and Southern Alliance for Indigenous Resources (SAFIRE).
CreativeACTIONs project started in 2020 with the aim of strengthening the capacities for creative civil society organizations and arts and culture practitioners in Zimbabwe. It targets to facilitate and strengthen the growth of Zimbabwe’s creative sector and their capacities to promote equitable access, inclusive participation and benefiting from artistic and cultural expressions by all citizens.
CreativeACTIONs up to December 2021 granted financial support to the cultural and creative industries in Zimbabwe. The first call for proposals extended USD117, 416 to nine projects across the nation as a way of promoting new and innovative projects from Zimbabwean creatives.
Of the nine funded projects, more resources were directed towards females and a number of female creatives within digital and traditional spaces became part of the CreativeACTIONs community. This has prepared more females to be included in the professional production and distribution of contemporary and traditional folk art.
Zimbabwean, Chief Makope, during community inter-cultural dialogue
The project is run by a consortium of eight African, European and international partners funded by the European Union to create new opportunities and mobilise stakeholders to promote inter-cultural dialogue and cultural diversity in urban and peri-urban areas in Africa as drivers for social inclusion and sustainable human development. Culture Fund is one of the eight partners.
Culture Fund hosted a networking conference in February 2020, where 15 countries were convened in Harare. The conference was a platform for inter-cultural dialogue between various countries.
Click the above image to find out about the Culture at Work Africa final events as it staged a complete cycle of activities that provided the opportunity to showcase the results achieved, tackle the core issues dealt with throughout the project cycle and give voice to its protagonists.