Zimbabwe@ 41 exhibition opens in Mutare

By Kenias Chivuzhe

One of Zimbabwe’s most revered art exhibitions dubbed Zimbabwe @41 which was opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in May this year, has been taken to Mutare, coinciding with Unity Day celebrations.

Authorities from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe outlined the focus and significance of the exhibition that spans into a period of four decades since independence with topics such as the liberation struggle, unity, hope, education for all, health, pandemics, HIV, land and re-engagement being clearly articulated.

Lillian Chaonwa, curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe said: “We have a painting called Zimbabwe produced after independence and the collage here speaks to the expectations of an excited people, of an excited nation after the attainment of independence. It shows so much positives. We have the artwork titled, “From War to Peace”, which points to the support Zimbabwe was given by neighboring countries such as Mozambique in the road to freedom.”

“There are so many artists birthed in this province. Manicaland province played an important role not only for the birth of artists but for the birth of the country called Zimbabwe. Our founding fathers en route to Mozambique they passed through Manicaland to liberate the country.

“The father of the of the Zimbabwean stone sculpture Jorum Mariga is from Manicaland. Many other revolutionaries like Cde Hebert Chitepo who is celebrated in Venice with an exhibition entitled ‘Shoko Risina Musoro’ is from this province. Manicaland has a special heart in the history of art of this country,” said National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Executive Director, Raphael Chikukwa.

Manicaland Minister of State and devolution honorable Nokuthula Matsikenyere says such exhibitions should be cherished for helping to preserve and safe guard Zimbabwe’s culture and identity.

“It is our hope that young people will continue to safe guard our culture through visual art as demonstrated in this show. We thank you the National Gallery for taking lead in being a custodian of growing Zimbabwean heritage through such initiatives as Zimbabwe at 41. Zimbabwe will among other countries continue to gain identity through such shows,” she said.

The exhibition is divided into four decades which are the 80s, 90s, the turn of the millennium and the later part.

The 80s is characterised by the joy of the people of Zimbabwe and their expectations for a new Zimbabwe.

The 90s is a development from the 80s, where policies such as education for all and health for all were implemented.

The new millennium is dominated by issues such as land and HIV while the other part of the millennium from 2010 is where issues of re-engagement are articulated.

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