GITEGA July 6th (ABP) – Artists from the province of Gitega (center of the country) ask for an active intervention from the ministry responsible for art and culture, to promote their work both locally and internationally. They explain that promoting a country’s art means making it known to both its citizens and foreigners. Thus, they add that the artist sees in it a source of life, and the country receives revenue from it. Such are the observations of certain artists that a check by ABP contacted in order to express themselves on their profession and its challenges.
In this regard, Mr. Thaddée Ndikubwayo, a sculptor in his sixties living in the urban center of Gitega, explained with regret that the artists each work in their own corner and in a scattered way. Unknown to the customer base, he continued to say, the profession of artist thus becomes less remunerative and the artist does not feel fulfilled.
Furthermore, Mr. Ndikubwayo indicated that the Burundian artist cannot count on his compatriot because she is not fond of their products.
However, he added, the few people who come to our workshops are, among others, the Catholic Church, which orders liturgical objects, families who buy wooden spears to give to family heirs during ceremonies marking the end of mourning for the deceased head of the family, as well as for the bride and groom who order gifts to be exchanged on the day of the wedding ceremonies. Speaking on solutions likely to make their artistic work more profitable, Mr. Ndikubwayo pleaded with the competent authority to grant the artists of Gitega a site for the production and trade fare of artistic products. “This would facilitate the visibility of our work and the customer base would follow,” he said, before adding that the artist and the State, in turn, would each find their account.
To the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation, he pleaded to guide foreign visitors and tourists to artist sites to make purchases there. As for the ministry in charge art and culture, he asked to promote the exchange of experiences with the artists of the sub-region, in order to improve their knowledge and to create artistic stands in the EAC (East African Community) countries, where tourism is highly developed or in Western countries where artistic works are highly appreciated.
As for Mr. Lazare Rurerekana, a septuagenarian sculptor residing in the district of Mushasha, he recommended to the aforementioned ministry to spare more efforts in the search for markets for the flow of artistic products outside the country.
“The profession of artist deserves revaluation to set up a place for artists in the same way as the other economic producers of the country”, he concluded. Similar points of view were collected from Mrs. Stéphanie Kaberure, who makes wickerwork, and Mr. Serges Nduhuye, a painter based on the dry bark of the banana tree.