April 2018

On Wednesday 25 April at 1600hrs we will be launching the 2018 edition of My Beautiful Home (MBH) competition, the launch will take place at the Marshall Baron gallery. Entry is free.

MBH is an Outreach Project led by volunteers and administered by the Friend of the National Gallery in Bulawayo. It all started in 2014 with a few hikes in the beautiful granite rocks of the Matobo Hills. a World Heritage Site famous for its distinctive granite land form, as well as being the location of numerous rock art sites of the Stone Age and Iron Age eras. Within the Matobo Hills is Njelele, a sacred rainmaking shrine. Here ones finds the Matobo district adjacent to the Park, home of the Ndebele, Sotho, Kalanga, and many people of Zimbabwe.

Realizing the beauty of the people and their homes, and the changing architectural developments of which some of them are becoming a threat to a traditional art form of hut painting/decoration whose practice and appreciation is dying out, Veronique Atala convened a team comprising of Violetter Kee –Tui, Butholezwe Nyathi, Professor John Knight of the Department of Architecture at NUST, Cultural Historian Pathisa Nyathi from Amagugu International Heritage Centre (AIHC); Artist and Curator Cliford Zulu, of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ); and Dr. Andre van Rooyen of ICRISAT Research. And My Beautiful Home was born, with the broad aim to research revitalize and stimulate the communities within the district to appreciate their traditions and cultural heritage. True admiration and gratitude triggered the idea of a competition to encourage this wonderful but fading tradition.

We had 30 entrants in August 2014, The following year, 2015, due to the success of the previous year, we had 250 entrants. The competition provided not only useful donations from local companies but also recognition from the rewarded families and the traditional leadership of the district. The competition continued into the year 2016, with over 400 entrants. In 2017, the biggest reward for this initiative was a boost from the US Embassy in Zimbabwe through a generous donation to document the threatened tradition in the form of a book and DVDs. This year 2018, The competition returns to the hills of Matobo and the launch will be held on Wednesday 25 April 2018 at the National gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo. The launch will reveal the traditional sponsors of the competition and also unveil the new partners that have come on board as the competition is targeting over 500 entrants in 2018.

Over the years as the MBH team has become part of the Matobo community especially the participating wards, and the 2018 edition will introduce new members to the team including Rob Burrett, historian and writer, Shuna Herscovitz, Beautiful Bulawayo, Heal the World, Lewis Ndlovu, Drums of Peace, Talent Kapadza, Visual artist and Adam Herscovitz, Quality Foods, photographer.  For more details please contact, the project Administrator Cliford Zulu