Afro Art Night was an experience. A different experience. Harare’s nightlife is saturated with outdoor events featuring live music such as Unplugged Zimbabwe, Mosaic Beer Garden and the annual Castle Lager Braai Day. I enjoy these events as much as the next person but they generally end in a “turn up” or serve as “pregame” for a night out on the town. It can start to feel monotonous and exhausting. NgunduZW’s inaugural event offered a refreshing change of pace.
Afro Art Night was held at the Sanctuary Café which is housed in the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe. The National Art Gallery features a collection of local contemporary art and is worth a visit. Afro Art Night combined three of my favorite things: interesting company, an opportunity for creative expression and complimentary wine.
The event was hosted by Tinodaishe Mandebvu, proprietor of the Ngundu ZW brand, and a local artist by the name of Runyararo Gwitira, who hails from Norton. It delivered on the promise of a relaxed and enjoyable evening as the organizers went out of their way to make sure participants got bang for their buck. Afro Art embodied the elements we love about Zimbabwean art and culture, and allowed us to appreciate and participate.
The event kicked off with a meet and greet as the Sanctuary Café staff served wine and cheese. Both hosts were charming and Runyararo was a patient coach for those of us who are not as artistically inclined. Runyararo also gave us a brief story about how his art is inspired by his surroundings, particularly his rural home in Nyenyedzi village near Mutare, Zimbabwe. Paints, protective aprons and paintbrushes were all provided, as well as canvases with backgrounds already painted.
Shava Food Enterprises provided catering services during the event, serving light snacks as the guests started to tire. We also got lovely pictures with our finished paintings which we got to take home as ‘battle scars’.
All in all, the event was a great success. I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a more intimate way to spend the weekend. It is a great idea for a girls’ night out, a date, or just an evening of quiet reflection surrounded by like-minded individuals. Other than a great Afro-metropolitan vibe, I appreciated the carefully tailored playlist of local jazz tunes that was playing in the background. I think I speak for all attendants when I say we got in touch with our inner child. I ran into this couple that was absolutely adorable there.
More footage of the event is available on our NgunduZW social media pages, instagram, twitter and Facebook. Look out for our upcoming Afro Art Night for a way to de-stress and have a different kind of fun. Keep your eyes peeled for your next Afropolitan experience.
By Claire Chiheve (Attendee of Afro Art Night)