Voti Thebe, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s longest serving Staff Member, Artist of Great Repute and Mentor of countless artists, will be retiring as Regional Manager. Over the span of four decades, Thebe has developed an illustrious career and led the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo through tumultuous times.
He trained at the Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre in Bulawayo and has over the years exhibited works in a wide array of media including metal sculpture and print works. He was part of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. He is a recipient of the President’s Award of Honour for his contribution to Visual Art in Zimbabwe. We wish him good fortune in endeavors
Thebe (65) was the Exhibition Officer at the gallery; before he was promoted to the post of Regional Director in 2010.
“I was part of the furniture here and I have spent 43 years in the gallery being there for the people and the artists. I did not accomplish anything as I was at the gallery for artists,” he said.
“The transition from the minority group to the majority as Zimbabweans access the gallery shows how the gallery has transitioned.”
Thebe said people should bear in mind that the national gallery represents the nation.
“When one exhibits at the national gallery, we would have recognised the talent that is worthy showing to the whole world as not every Jack and Jill will be able to exhibit at the gallery,” he said.
Thebe said working with a number of people has been a challenge.
“Working with a lot of people has been a challenge. I always loved working with people and one thing you would notice with the gallery is that you will never plan to say I will do this. It’s a momentous occasion at the gallery,” he said.
By Sharon Sibindi and Cliford Zulu