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