One of the great things about Zimbabweans that have spent time in the diaspora is that, when they return to live here,
many of them bring back many new creative ideas that they introduce to their communities.
It is also a sad fact of life that in larger cities like Harare, shopping centres have started to prosper a whole lot better
than retail shops in the city centre. The net result is that many, once popular stores now lie vacant. Those of you that
were around in the 80s will remember that top or the range, 4 storey departmental store called Greatermans – that
was our equivalent of South Africas Woolworths referred fondly by all Zimbos as Woolies. It turns out that this huge
building has been closed and unused for the past 9 years.
So a forward thinking bunch of creative people, led by Dr Maraire, have teamed up and created an organisation
called ZICCA with their main objective being to utilise these vast open spaces to showcase Zimbabwean Creative
and Cultural Arts. ZICCA’s first exhibition opened yesterday in the Greaterman’s building and is scheduled to run for the whole
weekend finishing on Sunday. I was invited to their opening cocktail party last night where we were treated to some wine tasting, hosted by Robin, whilst we listened to some excellent Opera sung by Molly Dzangare with some delightful piano accompaniment.
I arrived early to watch an entertaining Fashion show with a Zimbabwean Choreography entitled “Choma”. Our minister of Sports, Arts and Culture gave the folks at dinner a speech emphasising how supportive Government are of initiatives, like this, that give artists the opportunity to showcase their works both locally and internationally.
The exhibition has all sorts of artistic displays including my favourite painter, Keith Zenda with his canvases; the
Children’s Museum (Discovereum); Irene with her Binga Baskets; Sculptures; dresses; Silent Movies(!); and Zimbabwean Books. Today they are kicking off with a Professional Dance workshop followed by a Music Video workshop; Percussion Masterclass; Theatre Panel Discussion; finishing off with a Solo Theatre show.
ZICCA have some excellent, far reaching ideas for the future and the more of us that become involved with this community
project the better it will be for us all long term. Similar exploits in other parts of the world have lead to whole new entertainment
centres with theatre, shows, restaurants and bars catering for all ages and walks of life. There is adequate parking at
Eastgate across the road. One just has to “Imagine” possibilities. Imagine if the centre of town was blocked off to
traffic like 1st St was so many years ago. We could have electric buses taking us from the car park to our choice of show for the evening.
If you want to be a part of it then please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check them out on Facebook or Instagram.
Now turn on your volume and listen to that old favourite by John Lennon Imagine Make time for it. Ciao Mike G.