“My uncle was one of the most dedicated people I have known to his God-given craft.
He is the inspiration behind a lot of what we do here at Almasi Collaborative Arts.
We will be forever grateful for him.” ~ Danai Gurira
During the same period Muparutsa was involved in the activities of Silveira House (Catholic Youth Training Centre) where he assisted in the formation of Mabvuku Catholic Youth Drama Club and Conducted workshops (theatre acting skills & writing plays), seminars and leadership courses. In 1970 he joined Sundown Theatre, a professional theatre group under John Haig at Prince Edward School leading to him taking his first professional and lead role in Wole Soyinka’s famous play, Kongi’s Harvest. By 1980 awards had started coming his way some of which were; Best Actor in the National Winter fest Theatre Festival for my role in Athol Fugard’s Nongogo, as adjudicated by RADA Theatre Practitioners from the United Kingdom; he was the first Black person to win this award in post independent Zimbabwe, and the 1983 Best Actor award again jointly with Dominic Kanaventi in Andrew Whaley’s play Platform Four.
In no time Walter rose to that position in the theatrical world where he could adjudicate as seen in 1986 – 1987 where he was appointed Adjudicator for the National Winter fest High Schools Theatre Festival. With this he continued as is seen in his appointment as the 2005 – 2006 National Theatre Monitor/Adjudicator for the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe’s National Arts merit Awards (NAMA)
THE VISIONARY LEADER
Walter Muparutsa was a guru in Zimbabwe’s theatre industry; a founding father. Over the years and for many years he was involved in numerous theatre related activities imbued with social awareness. He fearlessly battled societal issues through his craft. He worked with countless institutions and festivals such as the Zimbabwe International Film Festival, Harare International Festival of the Arts – HIFA, Chimanimani Arts Festival, Manica Arts Fest, UNDP Artists Against Poverty Programme, Global Arts Trust, Pamberi Trust, Media for Development International Inc (Colorado, USA), to name a few.
He believed in nurturing the next generation with the skills, abilities and integrity crucial to building a great Zimbabwe Dramatic arts sector. Accordingly he trained and worked with Radio Drama producers, directors, production managers, engineers and artists, giving technical advice in the production and post-production phases of recording the first cycle using completed scripts. He served as a Consultant with W K Kellogg Foundation/ Africa University/ Chimanimani Rural District Partnership Program, the annual Dag Hammarskjold by the Swedish Embassy, W K Kellogg’s Indian American Institute of Arts (IAIA) cultural exchange program with Native Americans and Tengenenge artists.
One of his notable achievements is the 2008/9 founding of the Zimbabwe Theatre Association which is registered with National Arts Council in an attempt to create an equitable Theatre sector in Zimbabwe that allowed for fair and transparent practices in the dramatic arts. As an activist he used his art as a platform to address current Zimbabwean issues as variant as corruption and HIV AIDS.
THE WALTER MUPARUTSA ARTIST FELLOWSHIP
This fellowship will work to further Mr Muparutsa’s mission of creating a sector of professionalism and excellence in Zimbabwe’s dramatic arts. It will also strive to cultivate the next generation of Leaders in Zimbabwe. So we can build a dramatic arts sector that is self sustaining and resonates beyond our country’s borders. One that will allow the artist to garner a living wage based on their craft. One that is built on such sound foundation that it is propelled beyond this generation to the next and the next.