By Kudakwashe Manyore

First of its kind to be held in Zimbabwe a lighting workshop was a success. Held under the theme "lights outs" a two day workshop took place in Harare where young creatives from the city converged and got the chance to get more enlightenment about stage lighting and lighting in general.

As dreamer Midred Moyo is a consummate lighting designer who is the founder of Phenomenal lighting and Power solutions  which is the only stage lighting company owned by a female in Zimbabwe. Under Mildred's the organisation worked with established artists, theatre venues  and festivals in Zimbabwe such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Shoko Festival, Jibilika Dance Festival ,the Zimbabwe Germany Society shows as well as the British Embassy.

The idea of a doing a workshop came to life after Mildred had suffered a breakdown during the lockdowns and  after she failed to acquire funds to attend masters in lighting in the United kingdom. After Mildred attended a function for women in music at the Jacaranda Festival that's when she noticed that she still had an important role to play in the creative industry from there she started to do  Lighting Masterclass zoom  session during the Covid 19 period. The first masterclass was graced by the legendary lighting Designer  Patrick Woodroffe who worked with Adele, the queen, lady Gaga Sir Elton John among others.

Speaking at a Cocktail mixer  held in Harare after the workshop Mildred had this to say "I am girl who who follows light ,I am obsessed with lighting  and I started doing online masterclasses to train girls who are interested in Lighting. Then I started to do workshops  and the first on was in Bulawayo which I self funded through the  help of a Colleague Moset who had to put some of his finances in the project and we started to get some external help on this on in Harare. My dream is to build a lighting Academy in Zimbabwe which will be the first in the land.

Asked about the criteria they used to select those who could attend the training workshop, Chris  from Afrotopia  which is one of the partners for the workshop said "We had so many applicants who were keen to learn new skils but we had to select basing on what people do as creatives and what they have been doing in the creative space for certain period time. We also selected basing on gender as from the visionary Mildred Moyo had  the idea is to empower women to be involved in Lighting .

British Council representative Chipo Kanungu said that 'We got the call from Afrotopia and reading from Mildred's passion, career ,vision and what she has been doing to empower women. This went inline with our objectives to empower young creatives from the age of 18 - 35 years who need opportunities. We thought this initiative is one of its kind as it is a practical program to teach different creatives in the arts sector.

The workshop was attended by different personalities in the arts sector such as artists, film makers, journalists, actors, comedians, photographers and Videographers .

In an interview with one of the participants Tafadzwa Sharaunga who is a Journalist working under Eleven Dogs Inc said "Events like these are very necessary because they allow professionalism in the performance arts as in schools artists are being taught acting abilities but its very rare to be taught technical things such as lighting, It is very important because we need it at a time when the Zimbabwean art industry is expanding so we need more professionals who know to do lighting, We now have Three Television stations which means there is a lot of production needed and people do not have money to do training so this kind of an initiative is very pertinent".

Speaking to Dandaro Online Shalom Kufakwatenzi a visual and performing artist who uses the name Unlabelme said "As a performing artist you have to be versatile and when you get to a function where there is lighting designer it is imperative to know what your set will be like and communicate with lightning designer about your technical rider, You have to know which type of light you will be using and the reason why"

One of the film makers who attended the workshop Diana Kachambwa told this publication that " As a film maker you do do a lot of productions which deals with light ,I have learnt how to use light and how to use different colors on my productions when it comes to Lighting".

Other participants such as Comedian Two Rasta and Pastor Obvious from Faith world Ministries where overwhelmed by the opportunity they had to attend the workshop and what they learned.