The Buddy Bear unveiling !!
Matopo women appeared as stars that shone so bright on Friday after having adorned the Buddy Bear with warmly and vibrant colours that draw attention from afar. The sculpture which now stands afore the court yard of the #BYOgallery, symbolically derives its name from the German capital Berlin, artistically confirming bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Germany
The Buddy Bear, a 2-metre tall bear sculpture is made of fibreglass and the Buddy Bear campaign was initiated over 20 years ago. The campaign was initiated by the German Foreign Ministry and made the Buddy Bears known around the globe as ambassadors of a liberal and cosmopolitan Germany. The idea of the Buddy Bear being painted by women from Matobo was a result of the German Embassy Harare, My Beautiful Home (MBH)/Comba Indlu Ngobuciko (CIN) competition which started in 2013. Those who came up trumps were given an opportunity to work on the bear. From painting huts and clay pots, the quartet were tasked to paint a life-size bear, a challenge they relished. In separate interviews, the women shared their varied experiences working on the life-size bear which was initially snow-white.
“It was a wonderful experience working with on Utshomi because it was a new endeavour for us since we’re used to painting our huts and clay pots using clay. I’m still shocked that we were able to pull it off. Under the guidance of our supervisors, we were able to undertake our duties effectively. It’s wonderful to be able to preserve and retain our colourful IsiNdebele culture,” said Portia Ndlovu.