By Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi
Visual artists in Bulawayo and Government officials attended a memorial service at the National Gallery in Bulawayo on the 6th of March 2021 in honor of departed visual artist Rashid Jogee. Jogee died on the 4th of March 2021 after a short illness. He was 70.
Speaking at the memorial service, representative of the Visual Artists Association of Bulawayo (VAAB), Charles Nkomo, reflected on Jogee’s effervescent character and paid tribute to Jogee for being a founder member of VAAB. Shamilla Aasha, an artist based in Bulawayo reminisced on the collaborative ventures she had engaged in with the late Jogee. An emotional eulogy was given by veteran artist Berry Bickle who retracted her decades long association with the late Jogee. Jogge’s social consciousness was noted as one of his defining character attributes.
The highlight at the memorial service was the handing over of the National Arts Merit Award Legends @40 trophy to Jogee’s family by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ). Rashid was meant to be honored as a visual arts legend on the 27th of March 2021 together with other arts legends but fate would see him elevated to higher glory before the date of conferment. The gong by the NACZ was handed over to Rashid’s brother by the Chief Director in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Dr Benson Martins Dube.
In attendance at the memorial service was the Executive Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe Raphael Chikukwa. It was under Chikukwa as Curator that Rashid was selected to be one of Zimbabwe’s participating artists at the 55th edition of the Venice Biennale. Also present at the memorial service was the Director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe Nicholas Moyo.
In seeking to honor Rashid Jogee, the National Gallery in Bulawayo will curate a retrospective exhibition.
Without Jogee, the visual arts scene in Zimbabwe is poorer.