Home Arts & Entertainment Zimbabwean student wins continental painting competition

Zimbabwean student wins continental painting competition

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Story by Justin Mahlahla

A Form 3 Chisipite Senior School pupil, Hope Mafiko has scooped the first prize in the “My Dream” painting competition pitting more than 2 000 African youngsters.

The competition, held in March this year, was organised by the Chinese Embassy in Zimbabwe and facilitated by the China Zimbabwe Exchange Centre and The Confucius Institute at the University of Zimbabwe.

It was co-hosted by the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the China Manned Space Engineering Office and the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in Africa.

More than 2 000 entries were submitted, of which 50 stood out.

The Upper Six student’s painting was the only Zimbabwean one to be selected out of 400 local submissions.

“This piece is inspired by my dream to one day be one of the best interior architects in Africa. In the dream-like scene picture, I used colours that relate closely to my country (red, yellow, green). Green is the dominant colour because of Zimbabwe’s agricultural strength,” says Hope.

“I put people that come from different classes in Zimbabwe because I hope that one day, I will be able to bring futuristic and modern instalments to Southern African museums galleries and complexes, where all people rich and poor can see these wonderful lights and experience cutting edge interiors.

“My dream is that I am able to put more second and third-world African countries into the limelight of modern architecture by making spectacular sceneries like the one I have just painted.”

The youths from Africa, with their colourful paintings, expressed their best wishes for China-Africa cooperation, peace and development, human progress and a better life.

The Chinese embassy in Zimbabwe said China stands ready to offer a platform for African youth to show the world their youthful vitality and their African dream and renew the China-Africa friendship, “In the meantime, we stand ready to share our experience and outcomes in the development of high-tech, enhance technology transfer in the agricultural and industrial fields and give a boost to Africa’s modernisation drive.”

Meanwhile, Hope’s winning painting will be among several others to be part of an international exhibition to take place on the recently launched Shenzhou-16 manned spaceflight mission on the China Space Station, mission commander Jing Haipeng announced.

Jing said that they will stage the first and display paintings received from African teenagers from 10 African countries, including Algeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Egypt, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.