By Frederick Philander
The vacant post of Head of Department in the National Extension Arts Programme of the College of the Arts has finally been filled after almost eighteen months.
Playwright and full-time drama lecturer at COTA, Lucky Pieters, had been appointed in the post that became vacant after the previous HoD, Sharon Cagnetta, was forced to resign after being found guilty of gross irregularities.
“I see my new post as a tremendous challenge to help promote arts and culture in a more intensified manner, especially in the regions, normally the most neglected areas in the country,” said Pieters yesterday.
The National Extension Arts Programme primarily consists of about 60 Namibian artists, who share their natural skills with hundreds of students.
“If art and culture are to be properly promoted through this programme, it is important that the regions are directly involved, something I am bent on doing. In this regard, I intend developing closer cooperation with all regional councils to the benefit of arts development,” he said.
His first priority is to organize a strategic action workshop with the more-than 60 tutors working on the programme before the end of this year.
“It is vital that we collectively look at the specific aims, objectives, the mission and importance of the programme for nation-building. If we do not know which way we are heading with the programme, why bother?,” said Pieters, who is determined to bring in innovative ideas to the benefit of tutors, art students and the nation at large.
Last year a much better system of payment – a bone of contention for many years – was implemented by the Ministry of Culture for tutors and administrative staff working on the programme.