Magamba Cultural Activist Network to Film Zambezi News

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | iZiviso Global Editor At Large

HARARE, Zimbabwe – Groundbreaking Magamba Cultural Activist Network will film the pilot season of the its news comedy sketch “Zambezi News” in July 2012. The programme will be distributed regionally, from satellite television channels and will also be available locally on DVD.

Zambezi News is the breakthrough new comedy series that has had audiences in Zimbabwe and abroad in stitches since its launch in late 2011. Irreverent, sarcastic and downright hilarious this is the news as never seen before.

Created by two of the country’s pioneering creative minds, Comrade Fatso and Outspoken, Zambezi News parodies the relentless propaganda and astounding journalistic ineptitude on state TV through its comical news presenters.

The presenters humorously delve into a plethora of issues such as democracy, elections, race, land reform, corruption, sexism, gender issues, arts and sport – generally all aspects of life in Africa including all its contradictions and ironies.

Arts Journalist Par Excellent, Novell Zwange, Passes Away

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – Award-winning Zimbabwean arts journalist, Novell Zwange, 34, who died early Saturday morning of stomach complications will be buried at Mbudzi Cemetery B-section, Harare, on Monday.

According to a family spokesperson, Zwange’s body will go for post-mortem Monday morning, then to his Kuwadzana, before proceeding to the cemetery at 1 pm.

The spokesperson also revealed that Zwange died of abdominal wall hernia. While hernia is in itself not life-threatening, it appears the condition was left until too late, and ended up strangulating that arts journalist’s intestines.

Zwange was a well-respected personality in the local arts industry always willing to share his knowledge and contacts with anyone that approached him. His affability and humble nature endeared him to many in Harare’s fledgling arts circle.

Zwange also had a stint in South Africa that exposed him to a lot of artists in that country. In addition, he did a lot to showcase the South African arts scene through his innumerable writings.

He was also a leading ecological and ethnic-fashion designer and his work with the BlackScissors Ethno Design label which he co-founded managed to get him worldwide acclaim.

“We’ve lost a great, vibrant young journalist to come out of Zimbabwe, it’s real sad because I spoke to him this week and agreed that we are going to meet next week at the Jazz Winter Festival. I don’t have words. He was a humble someone who had the love for local artists. Zimbabwe has lost. I will dedicate my performance at the Festival to him; he was a good friend,” said popular jazz musician, Jeys Marabini.

Zwangendaba was a multi-award-winning artist , whose writings graced several publications including the OpenDemocracy, JIVE magazine, the Daily News, The Zimbabwean, NewsDay, Nordic Africa News, Marimba Media, Artists Initiates among others.

Zwangendaba founded the EthnoDesignProject in 2005 and in 2007 the Project won the Global Young Social Entrepreneurship Award, as well as being shortlisted for the Innovator of the Year 2008 and also being selected among the Top 10 in the YSEI Awards.

He has designed for several commissioned projects, television shows, theatre productions, documentaries and film, renowned personalities and prominent organisations in Zimbabwe and beyond. In the year 2009 he became one of the few designers to selected to showcase at the biggest African showcase, the PanAfrica Cultural Festival held in Algeria

Young Painter Searches for Self in Art

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Bulawayo, Zimbabwe – Award winning painter, Carlton Gumede, 23, revealed that his work is still undergoing an evolution as he is still in a process of discovering himself.

“The biggest challenge with my work today is that I am still at a point of discovering myself in terms of technique and subject matter. I’m inspired by the works of French artists of different centuries and art movements. I do a lot of research and the gallery is a great platform for research because it has an arts reference library,” said Gumede whose artistic brilliance saw him win the Young Artist of Promise Award 2010 at the National Art Gallery of Bulawayo.

The painting for which he won the award is titled, “They Co-exist to Survive,” is a wildlife-inspired piece of art that features animals including zebras, giraffes, gembok and springbok at a waterhole against a background of a cloudy sunset. Gumede said that his art relies on a lot of painstaking detail which he takes time to perfect.

After he won the award, he was offered an artist in residence in one of the studios at the gallery. The young artist said being an artist-residence gave him an opportunity to interact with seasoned artists that are based at the gallery.

“I share the studio with well-seasoned and mature artist, Dumisani Ndlovu, who encourages and inspires me at a very personal level,” he said.

The painter said that he has a passion for learning new techniques to execute his art, adding that lack of resources was hindering his progression as an artist.

“I’m an art appreciating type of a student. I’m a practising artist and I do not do art because its a process of learning. However, one of the biggest challenges that I face is shortage of materials for painting. Lack of materials can overcome one’s creativity,” he said.

Gumede also said that he hope to take his work to international exhibitions in order to share his vision of Zimbabwean culture with the rest of the world.

“I’m hoping that one day my work will reach to the furthermost corners of the world. I look forward to sharing the Zimbabwean experience with the rest of the world,” said the artist.

 

 

Digital artist opens new avenues

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

INNOCENT Fungurani, aka, Answer, who is pioneering digital art in Zimbabwe revealed that he is on a mission to put the country on the global arts map.

Fungurani (23), who recently showcased his digital works at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA) in an exhibition titled “Beyond Boundaries” said that his art is merely a dialect to communicate issues of social significance.

The works he exhibited were extracts from an ambitious journal project that he is currently working on entitled, “Superstition.” His works have a surreal, avant-garde, experimental and an almost dreamy metaphysical quality that speak in a way that language cannot convey.

Fungurani, who is a volunteer art teacher at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, said that he has always had a fascination for computers from a young age and always sought for ways to be creative around them using the most basic software.

“I define digital art as any art which is created through the medium of  technology be it cellphones, digital cameras or computer webcams. I find this really fascinating because computing systems are fast becoming more accessible, cheaper and efficient in Zimbabwe,” said Fungurani is also a spoken word poet and painter.

Fungurani revealed that he is inspired by everything around him, including the urban vibe, people, architecture and public spaces, culture and language.

“I believe my generation of digital artists is one of many that will emerge out of Zimbabwe. Digital art has greater potential to influence society because many of our spaces are becoming computerized. People also have the need to consume art is the same way that they consume commands at work,” he said

The artist, who was awarded the top poetry prize for the US Public Affairs’ Black History Month poetry slam, said that art for him has been a process of constant evolution towards self-knowledge.

“I was first fascinated by language until I felt that I needed to find other forms of expression to convey ideas that language could not easily express. Due to the some social taboos around language, I felt limited to express on issues such as sexuality, politics and religion,” he said.

“That is how I discovered that images could portray controversial ideas is a more effective way, and communicate to a larger number of people, including the illiterate.”

As a result of this realization, Fungurani said he took to painting and colour before he discovered the field of computerized art.

Fungurani has already made a significant mark on the arts scene in Zimbabwe through highly, innovative projects that have involved many merging young artists. In 2009, he co-founded Kreative Activists Overturning Society (KAOS) with hip hop poetess and filmmaker, Cynthia Marangwanda.

As part of his social contribution, Fungurani said his organization is currently planning a major festival of alternative arts expression that will be held early next year.

“Zimbabwe has been starved of alternative voices; society has become dependent on state and corporate media, yet these are mouth pieces of the rich and powerful. That’s why KAOS will hold a festival dedicated to alternative forms of expression. We are working to create a platform to show case different dynamic and radical art forms,” he said.

Girl Child Creativity Project Launched

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – A new project, Girl Child Creativity, aimed at mitigating the under-representation and unbalanced participation of young females in the arts in Zimbabwe was launched last week in Harare.

The project which is a brainchild of  internationally acclaimed performance poet and writer, Mbizo Chirasha and veteran filmmaker and broadcaster, Agnes Gudza, is aimed at enhancing the ability of girl-children to develop themselves mentally and creatively.

“The aim of this project is to reduce the under-representation of young women in the creative industry. We want to teach the girls how to find opportunities with their talents and develop them. We want to avoid the syndrome in the country currently where people want to fly yet they can only crawl,” said Chirasha.

“We are going to have motivational, poetry and writing workshops. In future, we are going to have talent realization programmes where we going to have accomplished writers, musicians and promoters talking to the girls on how to identify and nurture their talents.”

Agnes Gudza, operations manager of the project and renowned filmmaker, said that the project was aimed at empowering the mental capacity of young girls so that they can become creative in all aspects of the arts and their lives.

She added that the purpose of the programme is to reach out to a lot of girls especially in the rural areas.

“We want the girl child to improve the state of their lives and livelihoods through the ability to be creative. We are also going to make a film on the importance of empowering the girl-child. The script for the film is already done and is currently being edited,” said Gudza.

Chirasha said GCC is working in collaboration with the US Public Affairs, the New Ambassador Hotel, the Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe as well as Chiedza Childcare Centre to reach out to disadvantaged and marginalized girls in the country. He said that the first part of the programme will be rolled out in Harare before moving to Gweru, Masvingo and the rest of the country.