In 2017, Cyclone Dineo destroyed both venues available in Inhambane City (Cine Tofo- Privately owned) and (Casa Provincial da Cultura- Government owned) leaving the entire Province with no venue and basic support for local artists, and also no place to go for the audiences. Many artists and arts lovers tried to convince our various government levels that the need for venues and creative spaces was vital to the economy. Government’s priorities lay elsewhere and it’s for that reason why we at Matapa decided to pitch in and in 2018 to formally registered an art movement that will develop the province’s Arts scene. By creating an Arts Centre, we will fundamentally be increasing the capacity of training for emerging artists, thereby creating mechanisms that will see their work recognized as products of commercial, cultural and intellectual value. The exposure of their work on a national, and even international level, has the potential to alleviate poverty within these artists’ lives and so too in the community as a whole.
Within the region and internationally, Mozambique has a history of isolation, and there is an urgent need for regional integration to accelerate the development of art. We quote the past Minister of Culture of Mozambique Armando Artur at the opening of its Strategic Plan (SP) 2011/2015 which has as its primary goal "to create conditions for the culture to become a factor in economic development, social and human for the country, through the enhancement of cultural heritage (tangible and intangible) and national cultural resources."
The Mozambique art and culture in particular has been seen as an element of national unity, also used to enliven banquets, political campaigns and not often seen as a vehicle for local economic, social and intellectual development while the Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights says:
Understanding about this right, we look at our project in a context of development.
Matapa Music Festival was held not just as a festival but also as a platform to bring International organizations represented in Mozambique through Cultural Centres or cooperations to a meeting with local artists to help them understand how those organizations work and showcasing what opportunities are out there for local artists.
The main goal is to improve the economic, cultural and social quality of life in the Community by fostering the participation in, and appreciation of, the arts. We hope to have the artists respected and integrated into the priorities of government as a sector, and that government actively contributes to the local economy, attends international conventions on law, and respects that children and young people need access to artistic training from an early age.
An Instrument for Every Child (AIFEC) is a unique and innovative musical project that will provide elementary school children in Inhambane with the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. The four-year program is intended to supplement – not replace – existing music education in the elementary school system through regular, qualified instrumental and musical instruction by members of the local arts community. AIFEC will engage students, especially in the learning process in an active and authentic way. Participation is voluntary. The program explicitly aims to integrate all children and to provide all children with experiences that will ultimately help them to achieve their potential as learners and to participate fully in their community and society as a whole.
AIFEC was originated in Germany in 2003 and is based on the highly successful music education initiative, El Sistema, from Venezuela. It is to be one of the major music pedagogical projects featured during the ‘European Capital of Culture’ festivities in 2010. Also in 2010 the initiative expanded to Canada and now in 2019 Mozambique will become the first African country to run the program.