Dreams and Realities exhibition, 2020

40 years before and after 1980

30 November 2020 – 19 February 2021
 09 am – 5pm  Anglo American Gallery

Dreams and Realities is commemorating Zimbabwe’s attainment of 40 years of independence and looks back 40 years before independence through this exhibition by resident artists. Having attained black majority rule on the 18th of April 1980, Zimbabwe in 2020 celebrates 40 years of self-determination.

Through the work of resident artists namely; Omega Masuku, Dumisani Ndlovu, Miranda Mathe, Ishmael Singo, Talent Kapadza, Nonhlanhla Mathe, Stanley Sibanda, George Masarira and George Mahenga the exhibition examines the dreams and realities of Zimbabwean people in a visual perspective of Zimbabwe’s 40th anniversary. The exhibition aims to be seen as a contemporary guide for creative memory from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. Attention is being given to often under-acknowledged events and activities as part of efforts to visualise the memory of emancipation and other elements that bring out the evolving meanings of sovereignty.

Artists are exploring various personal collective journeys, motivations, trials and tribulations of people and groups that played significant roles in the struggle for freedom.  Zimbabwe’s 40th anniversary comes at a time when the status quo has begun to understand the role that art can play in society and in the re-engagement agenda. This exhibition presents largely millennials’ perspectives of liberation struggle and contributes to the ongoing thrust to preserve and promote national liberation heritage. Dreams and Realities interrogates the evolution from pre-independence Rhodesian aspirations to the post-independence quest for reconciliation.  In this, the 5th edition of the Zimbabwe Annual Independence Exhibition, the National Gallery is focusing on the views, narratives by the people of Matebeleland 40 years before and 40 years after 1980. The highlight of the exhibition are ZAPU objects loaned from Brighton Museum in the United Kingdom.

RATIONALE The arts have contributed immensely to the visibility of Zimbabwe internationally and as a country there is need to realize the soft power that the art brings to the image of the country. Art brings people together to harness the impact and role and celebrate its achievements. Dreams and Realities provides us with a great opportunity to revisit our struggles for independence and the post-colonial traumas as we look into the future that will define us as a relatively young nation. It is also an opportunity for the born frees/ millennials to add to this narrative from their own perspective

For more details please contact the curatorial team on +263(2922)70721 or email: sabona@mweb.co.zw

Mbakisi Sibanda Championing Digital Art in the City

By Emmanuel KaNdlovu

Dexterous graphic designer, Mbakisi Sibanda, is steadily making remarkable strides in the digital art sector following his debut as the only Bulawayo artist part of the POWERPLAY exhibition, a collaborative project by the arebyte Gallery-London, National Gallery of Zimbabwe and the British Council, currently running in London.

In a recent sit-down, Sibanda revealed how he strives to always live up to his name which can be loosely translated to, “the one that helps to build” from the Kalanga language.

“I strongly believe I have to leave a mark wherever I go, it is not necessarily about myself, but purpose. Whatever I am doing has to have a purpose and this is what I am aspiring for,” Sibanda said.

“Among all the other things that I do, I am also working closely with an NGO that is helping feed and take care of the vulnerable during these hard times. Purpose is a very big part of my life,” he continued.

With daily experiences in the advertising and graphic designing worlds, Sibanda is avid about digital art and its properties that are reinforcing the relevance of art today. He firmly believes technology has broken down barriers around art as we know it.

“I have never been really good at drawing, but the computer has helped me a great deal. I now create art and it has become my way of escaping the real word. It’s my way of taking a different route from design and exploring my abilities,” Sibanda said.

The 25-year old had no prior experience with exhibitions with formal and public institutions. His involvement in the POWERPLAY exhibition came as a result of a nudge by Butholezwe Nyathi, the National Gallery in Bulawayo (NGB) Regional Director, who informed him about the project.

“Since I am not really an artist, I thought long and hard about the essence of an exhibition and replied showing interest that was inspired by adventure. I was then linked to Rebecca Edwards, the Curator at the arebyte Gallery who sent me a brief with the rest of the details. I then followed the necessary procedures and started working on my piece and they were satisfied with the results,” he revealed.

His artwork, dubbed Isolation, is a still portrayal of feeling isolated whilst hyper-connected online and the dark nature of how the internet is a huge contributor to mental and physical health ills among other social strains such as disintegration.

Isolation_Still 1

The eloquent creative broke down his work revealing he did some introspection on how the internet has affected him as an individual and although he has never been a victim, he quickly thought of the hackings and stalking he has seen being experienced by those around him. These were the points he ran with in coming up with his artwork.

Isolation_Still 2

“We often shut the outside world just to be confined to our phones on social media where we think we will find all the happiness we need but instead, we are gradually destroying ourselves by seeking validation from strangers and projecting some euphoria and this was my starting point. I immersed myself in this scenario and my feelings came through in the artwork,” Sibanda said.

Despite producing a solid polysemic work of art, the perfectionist in him felt he could have taken his piece a notch higher.

Beyond creating, Sibanda finds pleasure in the little things life has to offer. He listens to a lot of music and enjoys a good time at the movies. He also appreciates some time to himself, a space that helps him think clearly and come up with even better ideas.

His recommendations for aspiring digital artists are to work hard and to learn as many different things as possible.

“Use tools you are most comfortable with in terms of software. Know your strengths and weaknesses, that way you find your feet quickly, digital art, like fine art I guess is all about finding your style.”

“Travel a lot, that opens up your mind and helps you appreciate different perspectives. Don’t make the world as big as it seems, know yourself and be yourself,” he advised.

Going forward, the driven virtuoso looks forward to exploring different avenues with his art. He has a series around human nature that he will be showcasing on Instagram or Behance soon. He also looks forward to showcasing more of his works with the Gallery.

As digital art is fast picking up pace globally, the NGB is not far off behind as it is actively involved in promoting the practice.

“Digital art has always been on our agenda, the Covid-19 pandemic has just accelerated the momentum. Besides promoting new artforms through digital art, we are working towards bringing in new artists that have never exhibited in formal institutions,” the Director shared.

PowerPlay is set to open at the National Gallery in Bulawayo before the end of the year. Exact dates to be confirmed.


The Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Raphael Chikukwa as the Executive Director with effect from 9th of September 2020. He has served the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as its Chief Curator and Deputy Director for ten years. Raphael Chikukwa has played a key role in the development of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, joining as Chief Curator of Contemporary Art in 2010. During this time, he has been instrumental in overseeing the installation of over ten exhibitions as well as developing the Gallery’s international reach and re-imagining its collection. In particular, he has been the founding curator of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale in 2011 and has organized the country’s representation in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019. Chikukwa was also a founding staff member of the PUMA-funded Creative Africa Network from 2008 to 2009. He holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Design from Kingston University in London and was the recipient of the 2006-07 Chevening Scholarship and the American Centre Foundation Curatorial Research Grant in 2008. In 1997 he graduated with a Post Grad Certificate in Arts and Culture Management from the University of Witwatersrand South Africa.  Publications he has contributed to include Visions of Zimbabwe (2004); Mawonero/Umbono: Insights on Art in Zimbabwe (2016); and Kabbo Ka Muwala: Migration and Mobility in Contemporary Art (2017).

In his role as Substantive Executive Director, Mr Chikukwa will provide strategic leadership for the gallery, including academic direction and articulating a compelling vision for the Museum’s development. He will lead on the development and realisation of the Museum’s exhibitions program and will also foster the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s relationship with the international institutional world.

Speaking about the role, Mr Chikukwa said: I am very grateful for being given this opportunity to head one of the great art institutions in Africa and to contribute to its visibility. This appointment is an opportunity to continue the work started by those that came before me. I am looking forward to this new path and working with artists across the continent and with other cultural institutions in Africa and around the globe”.

The Board of Trustees of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Chairperson Dr Solomon Guramatunhu said: “It is good, could be more effective by acknowledging that Raphael is taking over from Doreen Sibanda, who retired after working tirelessly and diligently to successfully position the gallery under a very harsh economic environment. The Board of Trustees expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Doreen Sibanda, wishing the best in her post retirement plans.” Mr. Chikukwa takes the helm in transition from Acting Executive Directorial capacities, a period that has been mired by the COVID-19 pandemic, transforming the Gallery into a digitally connected hub of activity in the new order.

Contact:  Zvikomborero Mandangu | 263 024 704666/7 | info@nationalgallery.co.zw

WEBSITE: www.nationalgallery.co.zw

ADDRESS: 20 Julius Nyerere Way, Harare Zimbabwe

Revived aspirations through a revamped Gallery

By Emmanuel KaNdlovu

Whether you are walking down JMN Nkomo Street or Leopold Takawira Avenue, where these two intersect something is bound to catch your eye. The usually abuzz outer side of The Douslin House, home of the National Gallery in Bulawayo (NGB) is atypically empty. The only people around what has come to be the unspoken official meet up point are those dropping off from ZUPCOs at the adjacent bus stop. The usual denizens are probably locked down safely in their homes trying to maintain the new norm of social distancing.

At second glance, there is more to the scenario. The visibly freshly brightened walls, barricading tape enclosing the historical building, ladders and a handful of men at work, all clad in construction protective gear suggest a different story. The refurbishment of this historical monument is in full swing. This is just but a fraction of the enormous work going on inside the closed doors and with an even bigger significance to the Gallery staffers and affiliates.

The Technical Officer at the NGB, David Nyahanana, who is responsible for all maintenance works, praised the move to renovate saying the dilapidated state of the building was an eyesore, one he is thrilled to see being addressed before his nearing retirement.

“Having worked at the Gallery for 20 years, when I first got here, the building was in a better state, ten years down the line things started to deteriorate. The roofs started leaking, the ceilings were damaged and the paint on the walls started wearing out,” Nyahanana shared.

“When the current Director got here, I brought up the issue that the building was in serious need of a facelift and I am happy he has worked tirelessly to achieve this and now I am going to retire a happy man having seen the renovations materialise, a badge of honour in essence and a most welcome one at that, ” he added.

For one of the longest serving members, Stanley Matengwa, a pensioner who was with the NGB for 37 years and recently called back in to assist in the delicate process of framing artworks and painting, this is a development he long wished for when he was still part of the institution. His personal hopes and those he holds for the Gallery have been refreshed.

Matengwa said, “I started working at the Gallery when I was 28, I literally grew up here and the place has taught me a lot of valuable lessons. One of the treasures I walked away with is how I left as a sculptor even though I had no knowledge whatsoever of the art. This place really means a lot to me and to witness its transformation in this lifetime is a dream come true.”

He also revealed that once the renovations are done, the NGB will be well in place competing in the same standards as some international galleries he has seen on his travels.

Renowned visual artist and an affiliate of the NGB, Fisani Nkomo, expressed how the renovations are going to play a pivotal role in uplifting the spirits of not only the resident artists but more so of the art community at large. For him, the renovations go way beyond the physical improvement of the space but its content as well.

“My role was to assist the photographer to capture images of the art collections and so I was removing them from frames, especially those that were under glass, get them photographed and get them back in their frames. I then had a suggestion that while we are at it, let’s clean the artworks so they are also in a better state,” Nkomo said.

“To me, the art collection is a very important part of any Gallery because it is the core, it is what we look at when we talk about the place’s worth. It is then important to keep these pieces of heritage very safe as they bring out the past, the present and the future; they are a journey really, an art movement journey that outlines how and where we are today with contemporary art. I am in high spirits knowing the renovations have made it possible for the permanent collection to be preserved in an improved state,” he added.

On a recent tour of the premises, Regional Director of the Gallery Butholezwe Nyathi revealed the renovations are now at an advanced stage and are expected to be complete by October.

The makeover is courtesy of the Australian and the Switzerland Embassy who donated US$51,000 and US$50,000 respectively.

“The donation from Switzerland was not entirely for the renovations. They specifically supported the refurbishment of the visiting artists’ accommodation facility, the solar system, storage rails for the permanent collection and air conditioners. The rest of the developments were sponsored by Australia,” Nyathi shared.

Other developments include the ongoing floor sanding process at the Anglo-American and completed floors at the Marshal Barron galleries. The lighting system at the property has been upgraded to an LED lighting system for an improved quality and a more gratifying aesthetic appeal. The galleries have been furnished with sensor lights for energy saving purposes, all in line with a green energy system as 60% of the Gallery is now solar powered.

The small galleries have been touched up from ceiling to the floors. New tiles have been put in different parts of the building. New air conditioners have been installed at the John Knight Cinema and the Permanent Collection room while the fan at the Lecture Theatre has been replaced by an air conditioner to complement the new look of the room in a move to increase the value of the place, the Director noted.

There is a new dry wall, fireproof Ethnography Collection storage facility aimed at preserving the invaluable objects while the Permanent Collection room has been upgraded with a further six new holding rails that have expanded the facility’s capacity to hold more artworks. The two newly installed air conditioners in the space will go a long way in the conservation of the artworks as they require to be kept under regulated temperatures. The ceiling that was rotting away due to roof leakages and the roof itself that covers this area have been replaced.

A new stage adorns the sculpture garden/ courtyard. Events such as the high-flying Friday Late are to move from inside the galleries to the courtyard in preserving the quality of the newly refurbished floors. Food stalls during events such as this will now line up at the staff parking bays which have also had the roof replaced and new lights installed. The economic value of this space has been taken to a whole new level.

With digital arts fast taking centre stage in the world over, a Digital Arts Centre facility aimed at availing space for young creatives has been initiated. The space was used for storage prior the renovations. It has since been cleared and repurposed. Works here have included plastering the walls, tiling the floors and installing a ceiling. Once the area is furnished with tables, chairs and the Wi-Fi range extended, it will be all systems go.

The Accommodation facility for visiting artists has also been touched up with a new ceiling, painted walls, new tiles and improved ablution areas. It now makes for decent habitation.  

The renovation waste scattered in the courtyard is indicative of the amount of work that is going on at the NGB. Months of labour-intensive work are fast shaping up. The changes to the colossal building are becoming more and more pleasantly visible by day. It is a series of small things that have definitely made a whole lot of difference.

Nyathi revealed the lockdown has been a silver lining in the NGB clouds.

He said, “We have managed to carry out these renovations with no interference from the public and went on to clean artworks and rearrange them, something we wouldn’t have gotten a chance to do under normal circumstances.”

The Director also shared plans to have the bus stop near the Gallery entrance relocated as it takes away from the ambience associated with galleries. He revealed he has since engaged the city fathers on this matter.

Contact us on sabona@mweb.co.zw

Bulawayo Conversations: Do Arists Ever Retire

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Date: Wednesday 2 September 2020 Time: 15:00 Harare, Zimbabwe time

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 499 063 9072
Passcode: 75JMN

Abstract Art + Rashid Jogee = The People’s Champion

On a recent winter afternoon, we (myself and Joanne Peters) gathered around a pot of hot lemon tea to interview Rashid Jogee. Rashid had made the tea himself and picked the fresh lemons from his garden. As soon as he put the tea down, he was busy with another task: making a “rollie”.

By Alex Gwaze, Social Documentarian

#ZimContemporaryArt #AbstractArtist

Considered one of the godfathers of Contemporary Art in Zimbabwe, Rashid is one of the few practising Abstract artists. In his 30-year career he has taught at the Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre and he headed the Art Department at Founders High School in Bulawayo. As an artist Rashid has had over 48 exhibitions in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Italy, United States, Denmark, Germany, England, and Sweden. In the 90s, former President Robert Mugabe honoured him with the Presidential Award for his contributions and his dedication to the development of the Visual Arts in Zimbabwe. However, Rashid doesn’t rest on his laurels, stating, “In any artistic endeavour you always reach a horizon. You pop your head out the water and it looks lekker. Then you dunk your head down again and swim. Then you arrive at a new horizon. And if you are doing well, in time you will pop your head out again and arrive at a new realm of understanding”.

Rashid is a painter, sculptor, poet, guitarist, teacher, and a handyman who describes himself as “the champion of African people” – amongst other things. Over the course of the next 2 hours, it is only when I bring up his achievements that he digs into a dusty box and pulls out his papers – awards, certificates and honours, for us to see. The man rarely talked about what he has done. Instead he gushes about other artists who shaped his career such as, Marshall Baron, Stephen Williams, Voti Thebe, Doreen Sibanda, Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaler, Paul Goodwin, Derek Sherwood, Derek Huggins, Helen Lieros, and Raphael Chikukwa. There is a comforting honesty in his humility but his work quickly reminds you that he is in a league of his own. Jogee has never been considered restrained, he is an eccentric with the politest of manners.

His lifestyle is a walking advertisement for working with your hands and when he travels, he gets around on a bicycle. The walls of his home are littered with artworks, most of them his, but some from his peers. The first thing you see when he opens the door is a painting called ‘Not Yet Uhuru’. According to Rashid, his home has always been a cultural point since his childhood; “political discussions with his peers would take place under the watchful eye of his parents and sisters”. His sisters are still heavily involved in his art, often providing financial and emotional support. “I’m all for women’s emancipation, equal pay, equal opportunities. Without my very capable sisters I wouldn’t be able to survive”, he adds. Many who know Rashid personally will tell you there is nothing economical about his choice of words. Rashid can talk. We had come to see him to do a quick interview but ended up talking for hours. In fact, we had been talking for almost 35 minutes before I asked my first question: how did you get  into Art? To this Rashid replied, “At an early age in primary school, other kids in my class would come to me to draw anything artistic, from diagrams to maps for rubbers, fountain pens, pens, pencils, you know”. Ironically, his journey to Abstract Art started because, as Rashid stated, “First of all, I couldn’t draw very well, although later I found that drawing is very important. You can’t paint if you can’t draw”. 

When I asked him how he paints since he “can’t draw so well”, his revelation of his process was just  as informal as our surroundings. His main influences in all his artistic works come from Eastern cultures – especially Sufism and the writings of Jal?l ad-D?n Muhammad R?m?, Indian percussionist music, popular music, Poetry, and African music. Somewhere between telling us which artists he listens to the most, Rashid breaks off into a Shona resistance song; which unfortunately I was not familiar with. “I love Shona music, Andy Brown – I taught him at Founders – and I knew Chiwoniso personally”, he said. An avid music fan, Rashid cannot create without the eclectic mix of Bob Dylan, Beyoncé, Cliff Richards, The Beatles, Rihanna, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and Abdullah Ibrahim.  “Musicians”, he adds “are the most respected artists in all African cultures”.

Rashid’s methodology is steeped in the rich history of Art. “To be a good artist you must have a good sense of composition. Where to put things. Tone. Texture. These are the composite elements of abstraction,” he informed us. Despite his aesthetically pleasing compositions, Jogee makes the kind of Art that can only be constituted for a purpose, rather than the pursuit of profit. “Art must be reflective of your environment. Whether it is a positive or negative vibe, you must try as hard as you can to get your message across in your Art. A decorative picture does not mean anything. It has got no truth in it. You can’t travel with it, it has no baggage. You just sit and enjoy it with your eyes. It’s on the surface. Real Art must be relevant to you and your environment”, he asserted.

There is a certain romanticism in Rashid’s outlook on Art and what it is supposed to do to the viewer. His ‘approach to creating Art seems natural, ‘loose’, and ‘heroic’, but it is derived not only from observation and practice, but also active participation in the subject matter; “Getting your  hands dirty,” as he called it. No stranger to danger, Rashid was conscripted as a medic in the Rhodesian Défense Force (RDF), and recalls one scene when he had to pick up a human torso rived by a landmine and put it in a bag.  This incident was explored in his work called, ‘Landmine’. “In Art there is always the retrospective elements. Sometimes after you have produced something, you can identify its sources”, he said. Rashid’s work is Abstract but it is deeply rooted in current affairs and the political situation in Zimbabwe.As he gave me a tour of his home – which also functions as a free open gallery – I couldn’t help but notice the titles of his works are inspired by major political figures or events in Zimbabwe – in fact he even has a picture of President Emmerson Mnangagwa opposite a painting dedicated to the First Lady called, ‘Auxilia’, on his living room wall.

When I asked him about all his political references, he told me that, “Politics is Art, Art equals Politics. Artists are the documenters of the political events”. Rashid’s work is full of authentic ideas about everyday life, passionate love, politics, family, traditions, and musical undertones. He is a visionary, and I suppose that is why his work seems abstract. He is a man trying to paint the future with meagre tools from the comfort of his home. Rather than blaming his tools or “the situation” he soldiers on, trying to heal all those who gaze upon his work with his bright – muted colours and vivid non-objective scenes.

When I asked him, what motivates him to continue to paint, especially in this uncertain unstable economy, he replied, “For me it’s necessity. Personally, to express myself and my feelings. Painting allows me to be vocal and give people ideas. It allows me to represent how others are feeling”. Rashid also counts local radio presenters as people that “really keep you going, especially in these troubling times when it’s hard to even find bread and paints”. This might sound strange due to the nature of his kind of Art (Abstract) – but Rashid is a storyteller. As abstract as his works might seem, what he does best is bring it all down to Earth. “Water always finds its own river. So, when you get the response or reply from others, saying that person is like me, that’s my great reward”, he said. Painting, according to Rashid, is a way of finding someone who is similar to you – someone you can relate to and share experiences. “Sharing and bartering will always be a necessity for our people. You always paint with others in mind because you learn from each other and strengthen each other’s commitment. And increase your knowledge. When you are being oppressed by anything, you have to fall on learning and educative processes to liberate yourself. Because they can take your home or your car but they cannot take away your knowledge”, Rashid said.

For more https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Rj7odo5kH0 Contact us, sabona@mweb.co.zw

Bulawayo Conversations: Shaping Visual Futures

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Shaping Visual Futures
Date: Tuesday 28 July 2020

Time: 14:00 Harare, Pretoria time

Join Zoom Meeting: https://maxwellmutanda.zoom.us/j/4990639072?pwd=aXRicDVLL0dDNm1xSyt4a0tVd2N0Zz09

Meeting ID: 499 063 9072
Passcode: 9AQPqv

George Masarira works and lives in Bulawayo

Born in Gokwe, Goroge studied at Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre in Bulawayo. His career stretches from 2008 to date fusing his studies and trade. While studying at Mzilikazi, he majored in fine art and also did ceramic sculpture, pottery, and wood carving. His passion for fine art grew with practice and was mentored by renowned artist, Zacharia Mukwira who now is based in Cape Town, South Africa.
George became a resident at the National Gallery Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2013 and realised rapid growth in his work because of the new environment and levels of art practiced at the Gallery. He was inspired to change and develop his technique by networking and being exposed to different styles and critic from fellow resident artists and the gallery curators. To date, George has found comfort in abstract painting and continues to work from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo which has become his second home.

In a statement George says
My artistic transition evolved as I find myself enclosed in a contemporary spectrum that influences and inspires most of my works. I am mainly inspired by contemporary unfoldings around me, encompassing, politics, economic, religion, environment, and anything that involves cosmopolitan philosophy surrounding me. I am a provoking artist as most of my art describes what I feel to be the truth. I can be summarised as a radical cosmopolitan artist.
I refrain from art which does not speak to the heart and mind because every piece by George Masarira is a result of a blend of lens captures, emotional raptures, philosophical triggers and a well thought out tapestry of hand movement and paintbrush stroke coordination- it will be a philosophical and monumental robbery to create memories and thoughts which do not change a life.
I have done exhibitions locally and internationally

For more details about George https://www.facebook.com/george.masarira. also on Twitter and Instagram. George is also the Interim Chairperson of the Visual Artists’ Association of Bulawayo (VAAB) find out more https://visualartsbulawayo.wordpress.com/about/


Umsindo is series of lockdown diaries by artists in the form of an online exhibition. In this context, Umsindo is referring to the sound and movement of the virus, invisible yet so scary to an extent that civilisation had to stop, reflect and restart. Umsindo is bringing positive vibes and glee to a nation moving forward against the odds. Zimbabweans are said to be resilient and forward movers despite all that life has thrown at them; Umsindo is instigating fresh conversations to the changing ways art and exhibitions are presented now and into the future. Artists from every part of the world are invited to submit artworks that are echoing personal and societal lockdown experiences – broken hearts, medical breakthroughs. Art never disappoints, art reflects the times, art records the moments good and bad so that in the future we can look back and reminisce.

Submission Guidelines: ntry is free and online
The following should accompany the entry, artist to submit up to 5 artworks

Entry is free and online, we are looking to showcase the work of 20 artists selected from the entries.

  1. All forms of artworks
  2. Updated biography
  3. Artist statement.
  4. You can also add a voice clip describing your work
  5. Checklist for artwork/video work submitted. Include the artist name, title, year, medium and dimensions.

5. You can also add a voice clip describing your work

While we accept submissions based on all sorts of ideas, the gallery we will be committed to exhibiting:

1) Work that contributes to the ongoing lockdown dialogue.
2) Artworks that push artistic practice in new and interesting directions.

The digital art opportunities come with challenges, such as desperate access to infrastructure and understanding digital audiences.

To enter, please use google form here https://forms.gle/BNaj5CdQ7KJhfHUc6

For more details and artwork collection please contact the curator by Email c.zulu@nationalgallery.co.zw or call office 292270721 mobile 0772896508



The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is pleased to avail the sum of ZW 20 million dollars for Sport and Arts with each of these two sectors receiving ZW10 million dollars, courtesy of His Excellency President E.D. Mnangagwa through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. The Athletes and Arts Relief Fund (AARF) is being given as a once-off grant to qualifying beneficiaries. The purpose of this document is to provide a guiding framework for the administration of the facility for both Sport and Arts. This intervention is a temporary arrangement while sustainable interventions are being worked out for the two sectors which are important industries for Zimbabwe.


The Ministry, through the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) are inviting applications for the relief fund from eligible registered practitioners in the Culture and Creative Industries (CCIs) sector, CCIs Associations, Organizations and Arts and Culture Education Institutions whose activities and revenue streams have been adversely affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.


i. The fund is intended to benefit the following:
ii. Registered Artists, Artists’ associations/organisations/groups recognising gender and differently abled persons.
iii. Individual artists demonstrating the effect of COVID-19 on their practice.
iv. Registered Arts centres/spaces/hubs.
v. Registered Art Galleries.
vi. Production Houses (Theatre, Dance, Film, Music Studios).
vii. Arts and Culture Education Institutions.
viii. Projects and Programmes (Provincial and National levels with discernible impact on CCIs’ development).

Eligibility Criteria
i. To be eligible applicants must be:
ii. Registered Artist, Artists associations/organisations/groups recognising gender and differently abled persons.
iii. Practising artists able to demonstrate continuous practice for the past 2 years.
iv. Practitioners in the Cultural and Creative Industry living and working in Zimbabwe for the past 2 years.
v. Applicants must demonstrate experiencing dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
vi. CCIs’ projects with an impact at District, Provincial or National level will be prioritised.
vii. Applicants must not be employees, Board members, or immediate family members of the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, National Arts Council of Zimbabwe and/or the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
viii. Applicants should not have benefitted from other Government Covid-19 relief facilities such as the Youth Fund, Athletes Fund, Social Protection cash transfer and the SMEs sector support scheme.

Grant Pay-out amounts:
Funds to qualifying beneficiaries shall be a once off as:
i. Individual artists up to ZWL$5000.00
ii. Registered CCIs Artists’ Business – up to ZWL$7 500.00
iii. CCIs registered Social organisations – up to ZWL$7 500.00

Application Requirements:

i. Proof of registration with National Arts Council or National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
ii. That they are citizens of Zimbabwe or have been living and practising in Zimbabwe for the past 2 years.
iii. Demonstrate continuous practice for a minimum of 2 years.
iv. Proof that they reside in Zimbabwe and their business or practice has been operating in Zimbabwe.
v. Show proof of place of operation, e.g. lease agreement, ZESA bill, water bill, affidavit, etc. All these will be subject to verification by the selection committee.


i. The Artists and Athletes Relief Fund shall be administered by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation with:
ii. The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) in collaboration with, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) and Provincial Fund Committees shall be responsible for identifying qualifying CCIs beneficiaries.
iii. Special Fund Committees in each province comprising representatives from the NACZ, NGZ, departments of Arts and Culture, Sport and Recreation, Youth Development and Economic Empowerment, one representative from at least three CCIs associations and two artists representing a different genre (e.g. from Music, Visual Arts, Theatre & Film, Sculpture, Literary Arts, Crafts etc.) shall be set up to assess applications received.
iv. The National Arts Council shall be the secretariat of the committees.
v. The Committee through the Provincial Head shall recommend applications for funding and submit these to Head Office for approval before disbursement of funds.
vi. The selection Committees making every effort possible to ensure fair distribution of beneficiaries by district, gender as well as inclusion of those living with disability.
vii. Minutes of meetings and a full record of beneficiaries shall be kept for audit trail, transparency and accountability.
viii. The administration of the Fund shall comply with the Ministry’s Accounting Officers Instructions and Government Regulations.
ix. Funds will be disbursed as and when the applications are approved.

Application Forms and Deadline

i. Application forms are available from Provincial and District Offices of the Ministry and the NACZ, NGZ, SRC and Boxing and Wrestling Control Board;
ii. Forms are also available online from the Ministry, NACZ, NGZ SRC websites
iii. Deadline for the applications: 31 July 2020.

Apply online     Download the form

FLEXIBILITY and ADAPTABILITY as resilience enablers

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Topic: FLEXIBILITY and ADAPTABILITY as resilience enablers

Ghislain Ditshekedi from DRC and Obed Mokhuhlani from Botswana will be in conversation with NGB Curator, Cliford Zulu.

Date: Wednesday 15 July 2020
Time: 14:30 Harare, Pretoria

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 499 063 9072
Password: 9AQPqv

Obed Robert Mokhuhlani was born in 1980 in Sechele Village, Botswana. Obed is currently studying for a Masters in Arts & Culture Management with Rome Business School, Italy. In 2017 Obed graduated with a Distinction in Bachelor of Technology – Fine Art (BTech-Fine Art) from Vaal University of Technology (VUT) majoring in Printmaking and a Diploma in Fine Art in 2015 still at VUT majoring in Ceramics and Printmaking. In 2004 he graduated from Molepolole College of Education (MCE), Botswana, with a Diploma in Secondary Education with a major in Fine Art. He is currently teaching Art at a Junior Secondary School in Kanye, Botswana. Obed has exhibited in numerous Group exhibitions in his home country as well as in South Africa, San Diego, New Mexico and Zambia. In 2015 he exhibited at the 30th Barclays L’Atellier Exhibition at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg. He is a member of Thapong Visual Art Centre in Gaborone in good standing. He has won several awards in Botswana including Thapong Artist of The Year Award, in 2017 and 2014. He has also attended numerous workshops locally and internationally including the 2017 Tulipamwe International Artist Workshop in Windhoek, Namibia. He is the Chairperson of a newly formed Visual Art Forum for Educators in Southern Africa (VAFESA).

Independent Curators International (ICI)


Ghislain Ditshekedi was born in 1982, lives and works in Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of Congo.  Ghislain studied painting and sculpture at the Académie des Fine Arts in Lubumbashi from 2003 to 2008.

He followed several professional training courses including: – 2003: Introductory course in the bronze casting technique led by artist Kinois Disundi at the Academy of Fine Arts in Lubumbashi. – 2003 and 2004: “Traces et oubli” organized by Asbl Dialogues and animated by Aimé Mpane. – 2005: Comic book initiation course organized by Africalia and led by Barly Baruti; Introductory course in photography led by Christophe Salumu Mulaba. – 2007: “Introduction to integration techniques in visual art” animated by Thérèse de Boever at the Academy of Fine Arts. –

Between 2000 and 2003: group exhibitions at the National Museum of Lubumbashi and at the Cercle Hippique de Lubumbashi organized by Asbl Dialogues. – 2004: from April 22 to May 22, group exhibitions “Regards croisés” Lubumbashi – Kinshasa. “Aesthetics and modernity in the DRC”, organized by Asbl Dialogues in Kinshasa. During the same year, he participated in the collective exhibition “Traces et oubli” directed by Aimé Mpane and in the competition exhibition “ONU SIDA” at the Contemporary Art Gallery of the National Museum of Lubumbashi, organized by the ‘ONU and Asbl Dialogues. – 2005: from 03 to 11 March, collective exhibition “Francophonie” at the Halle de l’etoile.

From March 26 to May 23, group exhibition “Nguvu ya kazi” at the Academy of Fine Arts organized by MRAC de Tervuren. – 2010: from March 12 to April 12, collective exhibition “Mama wa kwetu” at the Gallery of Contemporary Art of the National Museum of Lubumbashi. From March 16 to April 16, group exhibition “L’ange Volage” directed by Patty Tshindele at the Halle de l’Etoile. From June 11 to July 11, group exhibition “The fiftieth eye” at the Gallery of Contemporary Art of the National Museum of Lubumbashi. – Between 2011 and 2013: several group exhibitions organized by Asbl Dialogues at the Contemporary Art Gallery of the National Museum of Lubumbashi, at the Cercle Hippique, and at the Golf Club in Lubumbashi.


For more details please contact the Curator on +263292270721 or email: c.zulu@nationalgallery.co.zw

Bulawayo Conversations: Dear Dakar – Reunion Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo is inviting you to a scheduled Bulawayo Conversations Zoom meeting. Topic: Dear Dakar: Reunion Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Tuesday 7 July 2020 staring 14:30 Harare, Pretoria time. To Participate in the meeting click on the link below


or http://www.zoom.us click Join a meeting enter meeting ID: 499 063 9072 and when prompted enter the meeting password: 9AQPqv

Cliford Zulu the Gallery Curator and co Curator of the Dear Dakar project in 2014 will be in conversation with Komla Eza from Togo, Taiye Idahor from Nigeria, Lassana Igo Diarra from Mali, Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh from Ghana and Kitso Lin Lelliott, South Africa.


Background to the Project

‘DEAR DAKAR,’ the Finnisage project by the Àsìkò 2014 participants held at the Piscine Olympique Nationale, Dakar, Saturday 7 June 2014

This project emerged from the 4th edition of the CCA, Lagos Àsìkò art school programme that ran from 5th May to 8th June 2014. The participating artists are Nduwhite Ndubuisi Ahanonu (Nigeria), Eza Komla (Togo), Taiye Idahor (Nigeria), Kitso Lynn Lelliott (South Africa), Vasco Manhiça (Mozambique), Rafiy Smith Okefolahan (Benin), Kwasi Ohene-Ayeh (Ghana), Moses Serubiri (Uganda), Tito Valery (Cameroon), and curators are Dana Whabira (Zimbabwe), Lassana Igo Diarra (Mali), Moses Serubiri (Uganda) and Cliford Zulu (Zimbabwe).

The director of CCA, Lagos, late Bisi Silva (Nigeria) and programme facilitators, Stephanie Cardon (United States), Kianga Ford (United Stated), and Eddie Chambers (United Kingdom) worked with the workshop participants in the development of this project.

The artists and curators of Àsìkò conceived a project that was concerned with the culture of letters and letter writing. Each artist wrote a ‘letter’ to Dakar, as a city personified, and in turn has made a digital recording of themselves speaking their letter, thereby translating it from an experience of writing and reading to a work of sound art. It was the sound art piece that formed the central component of the work, which was installed in a room at the Piscine Olympique Nationale, Dakar, on Saturday 7 June 2014. In the five weeks, the room in question was used by the CCA, Lagos Àsìkò art school programme.

The spoken letters (which were been joined together to form an extraordinary collage of different voices) reflected something of the wide range of experiences that workshop participants had in the five weeks. Visitors to the installation heard fragments of personal stories, elements of autobiography, and recounting some of the many individual experiences they have had in Dakar during the five weeks of the workshop. For many decades the writing, sending, and receiving of letters was a very important aspect of 20th-century life in Africa. Within this fascinating project, the artists have again returned to the central importance of the ‘letter’ and presented it in a decidedly modern form. Each participant’s letter was unique and was written entirely in the language, grammar, and sentence structure of one’s choice.
In the words of one of the participants, “This sound piece project raises the importance of memory as a relic of experience, one shared by the participants (curators and artists) on the program. The symbolism of the letter is strong when considered as a medium for the telling of stories or the remembrance of encounters.”

There is a pronounced aspect of oral tradition being sampled within this project, in which great importance was attached to those stories, histories, and experiences, which were spoken and passed from one listener to another, in the manner of the griot and other tellers of stories across Africa. The bringing together of many different stories and voices formed a compelling montage that represented a challenging, collective contribution of the group.
The artists and curators were present the and some will be present in the Bulawayo Reunion. Please join us for this fascinating event online.

For more details about Àsìkò 2014 please visit http://www.ccalagos.org/asiko-art-school and more about the Dear Dakar project https://www.facebook.com/Dear-Dakar-754834307872511/

email c.zulu@nationalgallery.co.zw.