Senior Arts Reporter
Visual artist Hermit Muyambo has challenged his colleagues to use opportunities and work on themed events like the coming Independence celebrations, as this will put them in the spotlight.
Muyambo was speaking after he announced that he was working on a project which will capture the 41 years of independence on one piece. Speaking from his art studio in Borrowdale, Muyambo said he had already started painting the piece, which will be unveiled on Independence eve.
The piece dubbed “Success story @41” will also be auctioned on his social media pages as part of his April exhibition.
“It would have been nicer if we had an exhibition to celebrate 41 years of independence, but due to Covid-19 we can’t, the next option is virtual,” said Muyambo.
“I urge and challenge other visual artists to work on pieces centred on the independence theme. It can be the success stories like mine or just pick something you have learnt pre- to post independence era.”
The 44-year-old visual artist said he had a lot to tell through art in a positive way.
“When the country got its independence, I was just three years old and I got to learn and listen from elders about Zimbabwe,” said Muyambo.
“We should tell our own stories. I have witnessed a lot of successes in the sector and its growth. This year I am dedicating my painting to that, it is a surprise as I will not share much details on what I am going to paint.”
Muyambo said the paintings were not political as some might think.
“I am just doing a success story touching on the lives of people, how the freedom shaped the community, and the benefits,” he said.
“It wasn’t easy for the past years before independence, but now we have something we can define as our own, let us have those stories.”
Muyambo said there was a lot to tell from the liberation war heroes to living legends who have put the country on the map.
He wished the Government and relevant authorities could adopt his painting, which can be put in a museum for historical purposes.
“It is my dream and desire that during my virtual exhibition, if the relevant authorities in the arts sector, including the Government, can adopt my piece,” said Muyambo.
“I wish to meet the National Arts Council too so that we can work together in telling our own stories.”
Like everyone else in the age of Covid-19, Muyambo, is going through the emotional wringer daily. But unlike most of us, he has been inspired to create a torrent of creative work — a personal visual diary of the global health emergency.
“As an artist, the only way I can cope with reality is to play with the brush and paint and that is how I understand the world and digest it,” said Muyambo.
“In the past people, have made paintings to commemorate national events such as Heroes Day and Defence Force Day and now we have got a historical moment happening every 12 hours, every hour, so how do you react to that as an artist?
“How do you paint probably the most historical event we’re living through?”
Muyambo said his feelings about events change all the time. “Admiration, frustration, anger and happiness in one day — you go through all the emotions,” he said.
“It is a great time to make art, as well as a challenging time to be a human being.”