Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent
Artiste, George Masarira, believes through his works he can speak to what’s happening in society and get people thinking about their surroundings.
Masarira who works out of Studio 6 at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, has been nominated at the Bulawayo arts Awards under the Outstanding Visual Artiste 2 Dimensional.
Born in Gokwe some 29 years ago, Masarira said his painting that was nominated Inkululeko/Freedom, questions why Africa is said to be rich but some people are languishing in abject poverty.
“I did a piece about Africa. I’m questioning the system behind the fact that Africa is said to be the richest continent in the world in terms of resources but we are the poorest. This is how life in Africa is, we might be said to be rich but we are poor, so it’s a piece to empower Africa to say, it’s high time all of us take control of our resources,” said Masarira.
Describing himself as a contemporary artiste, Masarira said it was surprising that Africa was not in control of its resources.
“I touch on so many things when I do my art. It might be things that happen in Zimbabwe or in Africa. I talk about issues that are relevant because we face them every day. I want to do art that leaves a print in history or that will be part of history some day,” said Masarira.
The painting (acrylic on canvass) has been exhibited in South Africa as part of a solo show called Calculations.
Masarira who graduated from the Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre in 2010 and started his craft at the gallery in 2013, said being in South Africa was an eye opener.
“The government, corporates and other entities in SA really support the arts. They take us very serious as some people who are at work and have a career. When I went there for the solo show, I told my friends and other people to come and see. They came in their numbers and really supported me. It was amazing,” said Masarira.
He said Zimbabwean artistes were very talented but lacked exposure and he said he managed to address this shortcoming by using social media.
“Most artistes in the country especially in Bulawayo have no money because they lack exposure. I use the social media to sell my works,” he said.
Masarira said Zimbabwe’s stone sculptures are all over the world because the local artistes’ works are appreciated internationally.