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Attitudes, Poverty Drive Away Zimbabwe Artists From Funeral Policy

An insurance scheme launched last year by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to cater for artists is recording a slow uptake due to negative perceptions about funeral policies and lack of disposable income among the intended beneficiaries.

Deputy director of the arts council Nicholas Moyo said though some artists are now part of the scheme, most of them find it difficult to fork out the required $50 joining fee paid in five-month installments.

Moyo said some artists, like many superstitious Zimbabweans, believe that having a funeral policy is a bad omen.

Relatives of several top artists have faced difficulties in laying to rest departed stars owing to lack of funeral policies.

Moyo said the funeral scheme crafted by the council and Cell Holdings Private Limited also needs to be extensively marketed countrywide.

“I think we need to do a lot or re-brand the funeral scheme in order to market it to our artists,” he said.

Sungura guru Cephas Mashakada died a pauper and musicians had to pull their resources to raise money for his funeral costs. Part of the money was embezzled by one of the artists.