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Tuesday 20 February 2018
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Arts still alive in Africa

Arts still alive in Africa

Art is a well spoken language that relates to every aspect of our daily lives.

Its universality is beyond words that even when chips are down, great artworks appear in the midst of economic hardships to inspire others.
Such fairytales appear from unfazed corridors of African cities such as Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe, where despite stagnant economy for over a decade, inspirations are still found and arts still alive in Africa.

Although it is difficult to find an artist who still finds inspirations that side, one Batsirai Muskwe still does and going strong in his artistic works.

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“I started art here in Harare in 1995. I am mostly self-taught even though I occasionally used facilities at Harare Technical Polytechnic and the National art gallery of Zimbabwe” he added. “I always draw my inspiration from Jehovah under all circumstances and He is the original Artist by just looking at life. Just looking at things is a major source of inspiration,” he said.

Zimbabwe has produced some of the finest artists on the continent like Dominic Benhura but economic hardships have swallowed their efforts and that has benefitted other continents. “Zimbabwean art is very well appreciated internationally having our fore runners sculptors’ who paved the way for us around the 1960’s made it easy for us the painters to also penetrate that same market and we have made quite identity for ourselves internationally” Muskwe said.

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He added that the moment as an artist starts to paint for the market they cease to be artists, the work automatically matures as they progress.
“We are artists first then business people and not the other way round.
Art puts through life and hope across all sectors, be it international or national.

“I will say all my works are best because they are all unique in their own special way. As for exhibitions, I was exhibiting at the Watercolor Society of South Africa called Black Like Us that really got me pumping” he says

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His works has been part of various private collections in Zimbabwe, England, USA, Japan, China, Belgium, Canada, South Africa, Holland Germany and Botswana. “My memorable moment in art was when I was handed an exhibition at the Shades of Africa gallery being invited to Spain by the Spanish ambassador the following year, “he reckoned.