We have come across some amazing talent in Zimbabwe at NgunduZW . We have had the privilege of brushing shoulders with creatives that have fallen in love with their craft. One such artist is our co-host of the Afro Art Night event Runyararo Gwititra.
He is a professional painter who hails from the city of Norton, North East of Harare, Zimbabwe. This is an interview our founder Tinodaishe Mandebvu had with the artist at his Avondale Flea Market stall in Harare. She found Runyararo to be an absolute pleasure to be around. He exudes an energy that his fellow artists appreciate. He is amazingly talented but still a down-to-earth guy, trying to be the best he can for his wife, Charity and their son.
Q: What do they call you?
A: Runyararo ‘The General’ Gwitira. I am the major general among my friends on the art scene, and I am also a Rasta so the name comes with the territory.
Q: When did you get involved in Art?
A: I have been an artist all my life. In primary and secondary school my teachers would request me to draw up illustration charts for them. Professionally I would say I have been in art for 8 years. I sold my first art piece in 2009.
Q: Have you always loved to paint?
Q: What inspires your art?
A: I like the African theme. I come from Nyenyedzi village in the Eastern Highlands, about a 100km from the city of Mutare, so naturally those mountainous surroundings inspire my art. I am largely influenced by my surroundings and I enjoy paintings inspired by the form of a woman. Woman are beautiful and I gravitate toward them in my art pieces.
Q: What’s fresh on the art scene?
A: Nowadays there is a painting called, “Ghetto Scene”. Its messy! It contains all the hustle and bustle of the city in the background. It depicts your environment as it is, and can be quite elaborate if you are in the ghetto. It makes the people proud of where they come from by depicting their environment as it is without edits,
Q: What is your aspiration in your craft?
A: I want to make a name for myself in my Industry. Eventually I would like to own my own studio, where I can work at my own pace without distractions.
Q: What are the challenges of being an artist in Zimbabwe.
A: Capital can be a major hindrance in getting the material we need. Getting the visibility and marketing we need for our products is a challenge especially if you are not part of an artists association.
PS/ If you are interested in any of Runyararo’s art work please inbox the NgunduZW team on Facebook who will put you in touch with the artist.