FARAI SIMOYI IN CONVERSATION WITH AYA KOUDOUNARIS
“There is no greater reward than being able to educate the minds of our future generations”. - Farai Simoyi Farai Simoyi. From fashion designer to fashion executive, this global leader exemplifies the business of international fashion and development. Honored on the pages of FORBES and featured by the likes of Vogue, Fast Company, Newsweek, ABC News, New York Magazine, and Essence Magazine for her contributions to the fashion industry, Simoyi's purpose: "creating global brands and developing emerging brands and creatives." Behind her, Simoyi has 15 years of experience designing and consulting for some of the most globally recognized celebrities with fashion brands and industry staples such as Beyonce, Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Justin Timberlake, Rachel Roy, Anne Klein, and Robert Rodriguez to name a few. Simoyi has also accumulated esteemed awards and toured the world speaking on topics such as Global Fashion Development, Sustainability, Manufacturing in Africa, and Diversity & Inclusion at renowned institutions such as Tapestry Inc., Fashion Institute of Technology, West Virginia University, Yale University, U.S. Dept of State Educational & Cultural Affairs, US. Embassy of Zimbabwe, & Standard Bank Incubator of South Africa. Following her impressive competitive delivery in the first season of the ‘Netflix’ fashion design competition series, ‘Next in Fashion,’ Simoyi continues her mission to promote her design work while elevating global artisans and designers through her company, The Narativ, in collaboration with NY NOW and Start by WGSN. In 2020, Simoyi joined Thomas Jefferson University as the Program Director and Professor of Fashion Design Programs.
AN ANTHOLOGY OF POEMS | ETHEL KABWATO
Ethel Irene Kabwato was born in Mutare, Zimbabwe into a creative family and has won prizes for her poetry and prose. Although Ms Kabwato’s childhood ambition was to be a journalist, she became an English teacher. Her dream was only fulfilled in 2008 when she attained a degree in Media Studies with the Zimbabwe Open University. She writes for various publications and still pursues her career as an English teacher. Her work appears in various anthologies, namely, Sunflowers in Your Eyes, Writing Free, Writing Now, Between Two Rocks (through a Writer’s Exchange Programme with the University of Michigan’s ZCCD), Light a Candle, Ghetto Diary (an advanced-level literature set book) and an educational textbook by Scholastic (USA). She is the editor of a poetry anthology, Traps, a collection of poems by Zimbabwean women writers. Most recently Ms Kabwato’s poetry was featured in New Daughters of Africa, edited by Margaret Busby (UK). In 2004, she participated in the British Council Crossing Borders Project. Ms Kabwato has been invited to read her work at institutions such as Rhodes University and University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. She has worked extensively with school children as a mentor, teacher and creative writing adjudicator. In 2008, she was a guest at Amnesty International Festival in Amsterdam which culminated in Slum Cinema, a voluntary initiative which seeks to empower disadvantaged communities through multi-media work. Ms Kabwato, along with another poet, was a guest writer at the Guardian Hay Festival (Wales, UK) while on a reading tour of Sunflowers in Your Eyes.
HANDEI KUNOTAMBA | Audrey Butau Dananai, Victor Nyakauru, Lionel Mbayiwa
In this conversation three artists discuss their contributions to the Handei Kunotamba program. Together with Art Meets, we created this series called, ‘Handei Kunotamba/Asambeni Siyodlala/Let’s go dance/play.’ Artists were given a text, which they used as a prompt to create a 1min video or sound piece. The text provided took its cue from Tsitsi Dangarembga’s novel, ‘Nervous Conditions,’ and particularly drew from the theme of how family dynamics alter when children are raised outside of Zimbabwe. Diaspora has come to define what it means to be Zimbabwean in our contemporary times and through this program we wanted to create a space to reflect on this. Check out the artists' videos in our Handei Kunotamba playlist.
MAE SITHOLE MUSIC PERFORMANCE
Mae Sithole and her band believe music has the power to bring people of all cultures together. Their vision is to take their fusion of contemporary jazz, soul, funk/reggae with African music to the world. In May 2018, the Mae Sithole Band performed at the Harare International Festival of the Arts. Mae Sithole was named among Cape Town’s Top 5 Innovative Female Musicians by Of Africa Magazine and has been featured by BBC Radio 4 and CNN Africa.The Mae Sithole Band was also awarded the Concerts SA Mobility Fund in 2018. Mae is a passionate advocate for women's rights and leadership, youth inclusivity, and communicating powerful messages of hope through music, poetry, and other art forms. She incorporates her songwriting and performance in African leadership development programmes; policy meetings; and has performed in the presence of inspirational women including Prof Thuli Madonsela, Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng, and the African Union Commissioner for Political Affairs, Mrs Minata Samate Cessouma. She is passionate about using music to trigger change and unite people of different cultures, languages, and political persuasions under the banners of love and humanity. Her first two albums, First Glance and Visions are available on most on line music platforms.
ZIMBABWE: ART, SYMBOL AND MEANING
artHARARE is pleased to share the landmark publication Zimbabwe: Art, Symbol and Meaning authored by Gillian Atherstone and photographed by artist Duncan Wylie. Delving into the historical references of art in Zimbabwe, the publication gathers and safeguards that knowledge and tradition, contextualising it for the present day. In conversation with Virginia Phiri, a lifetime's research is unpacked in search of meaning in the history of Zimbabwe’s symbolism whilst acknowledging the importance of transmitting a cultural heritage today. Speaker biographies: Gillian Atherstone (Born 1948, Zimbabwe) is the Former Curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe during the 1980's, and director of private sector galleries of African art. Founder of voluntary charity communities-can-do-it.com in 2007, for marginalised communities in Zimbabwe caring for orphans. Currently living and working in the United Kingdom. Duncan Wylie (Born 1975, Zimbabwe) obtained French citizenship in 2005. He graduated with honours from the Ecole National Supérieure des Beaux Arts de Paris. His paintings have been exhibited internationally: Louvre Abu Dhabi (UAE), Zeitz MOCAA (SA), Palais de Tokyo (FR), Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (FR), Musée de Grenoble (FR), National Gallery of Zimbabwe (ZW) and more. He currently lives and works in London and Paris. Virginia Phiri (Born 1954, Zimbabwe) is a writer of renown who is known for writing both fiction and non-fiction. She has written books in English as well as in Zimbabwe’s local languages, Shona and Ndebele. She has been known to deal with topics around sex workers, LGBT communities, unemployment, poverty, education and health. Phiri has also been influenced by her own experience in the liberation war of Zimbabwe which she was actively part of from the age of seventeen. In 1990 she founded the organization, Zimbabwean Women Writers, along with Barbara Makhalisa, another prominent Zimbabwean writer. She also founded the Zimbabwean Academic and Non Fiction Authors Association in 1996. Apart from being a writer, Phiri is known as an expert of African Orchids and has written and published related articles in journals since 1996. She also has an orchid species named after her, “Polystachia Phirii.” Phiri has had an eclectic career in the cultural and political movements of Zimbabwe and continues to be an inspiring figure.
KUDZANAI CHIURAI IN CONVERSATION WITH AYA KOUDOUNARIS
Kudzanai Chiurai (b. 1981, Zimbabwe) was born one year after Zimbabwe’s emergence from white-ruled Rhodesia. Chiurai incorporates various media into his practice, which is largely focused around cycles of political, economic and social strife present in post-colonial societies. Chiurai’s artwork confronts viewers with the psychological and physical experience of African metropolises. From large mixed media works and paintings to photography and video, Chiurai tackles some of the most pressing issues facing these environments, such as xenophobia, displacement and inequality. Chiurai has held numerous solo exhibitions since 2003 and has participated in various local and international exhibitions, such as Figures & Fictions: Contemporary South African Photography (2011) at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and Impressions from South Africa, 1965 to Now (2011) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Other notable exhibitions include The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited curated by Simon Njami at Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt (2014) and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah USA (2015), as well as Art/Afrique, Le nouvel atelier (2017) at the Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris, Regarding the Ease of Others (2017) at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Genesis [Je n’isi isi]- We Live in Silence at IFA in Stuttgart, Germany and Ubuntu, a Lucid Dream (2020) at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. Chiurai’s Conflict Resolution series was exhibited at dOCUMENTA (13) (2012) in Kassel and the film Iyeza was one of the few African films to be included in the New Frontier shorts programme at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. Chiurai has held numerous solo exhibitions with Goodman Gallery and has edited four publications with contributions by leading African creatives. At present the artist lives and works in Harare, Zimbabwe. https://www.goodman-gallery.com/artists/kudzanai-chiurai
HONOURING YOUR ROOTS | KUMUSHA ARTIST CONVERSATION
In partnership with Kumusha Wines, artHARARE presents: Honouring Your Roots | Kumusha artist conversation Kumusha' in the Zimbabwean Shona language translates to ‘your home’, ‘your roots’ or ‘your origin’. We recently hosted a casual conversation with accomplished Zimbabwean artists (all living in Cape Town) Wallen Mapondera, Richard Mudariki, Michele Mathison, Dan Halter and Adolf Tega for a conversation over a glass of a fruity red Kumusha Cabernet Sauvignon Cinsault and a Flame Lilly white wine. This conversation shares insights into the creative process and overlaps between music, art and poetry in Zimbabwe - a sentiment reflected in artHARARE’s fair programming. Thank you Kumusha Wine.