During our visit to Zimbabwe in the summer, Amai (mother) took us to a place called Mbare Musika. You can buy anything there and it is super busy with people, buses and ETs (Emergency Taxis) – our local high street market here in England has nothing on this vibrant place. While Amai tried to get a good bargain on some mangos, Shinga and I spotted an artist painting on a canvas. We walked over to him and watched him working right there in the middle of all the clothes, vegetables, pots and pans, stone sculptures and more.
I suggested that that it would be a good idea to get a painting that showed Gogo Nomandla’s life, and Shinga agreed. The artist, whom we called Mukoma (big brother) painted this picture while we continued shopping and bargaining around the musika (market). It’s a great painting, I really like it!
My favourite five on our Great Grandmother Nomandla:
- She is regarded as a great matriarch in our family – she was ambitious, smart and quick to spot a deal.
- She was a successful businesswoman – she grew and sold vegetables to her loyal customers of all races. She commanded and gained respect at a time when there was segregation.
- She was a fashion designer and known for setting stylish trends.
- She had no formal education, but she ensured that all her eleven children, including nine girls, went to school.
- The family bicycle was a means of livelihood. She cycled on it for miles and miles all day selling crops and performing other important errands. It makes me realise how lucky I am to have a bike all to myself just to take me to school.
- Who inspires you in your family and why?
- Ask an adult to help you search for Zimbabwean art online.
Ziva kwavakabva kwaunoenda usiku
Know where you come from, where you are going is dark/unknown.