Mbira centre director Albert Chimedza has challenged the corporate sector to promote traditional music in schools as a way of cultivating future generations that appreciate local culture.
Chimedza, who is spearheading the Mbira in Schools project in partnership with the Culture Fund and European Union Programme for Arts and Culture Development, said corporates should do this as part of their social responsibility.
"Support for such initiatives should not be a token gesture but it should be imbedded in the system. Corporates should chip in and sponsor programmes that support local culture.
"I don't believe they do not have the resources because they are supporting golf tournaments and other elite sports. Cultural programmes are equally important," he said.
Chimedza said various sectors needed to come together and work towards portraying the true value of local culture and traditional music.
He said a different approach needed to be taken before a self-sustaining traditional music industry could be realised.
"Traditional instruments are associated with poverty because it (traditional music) is being taught under trees.
"It is high time we give the same value we give to classical music. We can't have an entire generation that plays mbira but the initiatives will create academics in traditional instruments," said Chimedza.
"We need people who are able to make notes for traditional music and even those who will make and improve the traditional instruments. We need a generation that understands and appreciates traditional music."
The Mbira in Schools project has so far roped in more than 25 schools from different parts of the country.The number is expected to grow in preparation for an inaugural schools mbira festival that will take place in September, Mbira Month.
Chimedza said in preparation for the festival, they were working on training and equipping teachers with adequate mbira skills.