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Listopad 2018

Název článku: TENGENENGE CLUB BENEFIT FROM WELL-WISHERS

Zdroj: www.herald.co.zw - Entertaiment, November 05, 2018, 12:11 p.m., Tafadzwa Zimoyo, Senior Arts Reporter



Former diplomat with the Czech Republic Embassy in Harare and art collector Dr. Marie Imbrova, has established "Friends of Tengenenge Club", a charity organization in aid of children at the sculpture community in Guruve.

Friends of Tengenenge Club, is a non-profit organization, meant to improve the lives of several children resident at the sculpture community.

Every year, Dr. Imbrova brings a group of five people from Czech Republic to tour around Zimbabwe and embark on charity work.

According to Dr. Imbrova, the children at Tengenenge Sculpture Community, especially the girl child are in need of decent education and exposure.

"We do exhibitions aimed at raising funds for children at Tengenenge Sculpture Community. This was part of Friends of Tengengenge Club founded in 2008/10 and so far we have paid schools fees for children whose parents are failing to send them to school. We have also built a pre-school where 180 children attend and also we pay for one teacher. We want to do more but we know the (economic) situation in Zimbabwe is difficult especially for people who live in the rural areas," she said.

She said next year two other children will enroll at secondary school with assistance from the club.

Dr. Imbrova said her adoption of Tengenenge started way back when the Embassy of Czech Republic bought Emil Holub piece which was carved at the community.

"Since 2007 the Ambassador pledged to work and support children from Tengenenge. We have provided scholarships, uniforms and sports kits to empower the children. The problem is that most children are getting married at a younger age and one of the things we want to address is provide education and exposure to the girl child. We are going to initiate trips for the children to visit Harare so that they are inspired that there is a lot that a girl child can do other than getting married,” Dr. Imbrova said.

However, some of the excelling children who have benefited from Friends of Tengenenge Club include, Archibald Gombarago and Memory Tembo who are now at secondary level.

At present there are about 11 volunteers who make up Friends of Tengenenge including Dr. Imbrova’s sister Jinandre.

Tengenenge Sculpture Community plays host to 76 resident artists and 60 non-residents artists including Agrippa Tiriigu (30) who doubles as a tour guide.

Tirigu is an abstract stone sculptor who is passionate about empowering the girl child. Through working with Dr. Imbrova Tirigu has ensured that best pupils get scholarships to pursue their education outside of the community


Odkaz: www.herald.co.zw


Africké ozvěny v r. 2017:



Listopad 2017

Název článku: LONG LIVE TENGENENGE SCULPTURE COMMUNITY!

Zdroj: www.herald.co.zw - Entertainment, November 20, 2017, 00:11 a.m., Own Correspondent



We are all versed with the founding of the Tengenenge sculpture community in the mid-1960s on a tobacco farm near Guruve during the oppressive colonial rule and the protracted war of liberation of Zimbabwe.

It is no secret the immense contribution of the unique creative establishment’s mapping of today’s Zimbabwe stone sculpture practice and the marketing of the medium beyond the country’s geographical demarcations.

Today we want to visit the state of the once-thriving spiritual stone carving community as it is a natural phenomenon that things do not remain the same.

It will be appropriate to have a brief interface with the history of the conceiving of the stone sculpture in the colony.

It was during the peak of the unbearable colonial oppression and the fight for liberation of Zimbabwe by the indigenous people in the 60s when the then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was considerably richer in the British-colonised region of Southern Africa.

Southern Rhodesia provided cheap labour in its vast agricultural land in the hands of white colonists or foreigners, handed to them on a silver platter as colonial privilege. Many nationalities from the region, especially Mozambique, Zambia, the then Northern Rhodesia, Malawi the then Nyasaland, Kongo and Angola migrated to Zimbabwe for employment.

A subdivided tobacco farm near Guruve, owned by a white South African, Tom Blomefield, had numerous farm labourers from the above countries. The farm activities led to the discovery of a quarry with rock suitable for carving.

Blomefield was knowledgeable about art and his workers began to experiment with the medium. This was a couple of years after the opening of the National Gallery of Southern Rhodesia in 1957 in Salisbury, which was the capital city.

The opening of the National Gallery had been considered as the most important development in Africa South of the Sahara and the role played by its first successful director, a Briton, Frank McEwen.

McEwen had established the National Gallery Art Workshop School, whose early successful students included Thomas Mukarobgwa, Joseph Ndandarika, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Paul Gwichiri, Boira Mteki and Kingsley Sambo. There were other independent local masons, who were natural stone sculptors discovered from the eastern part of the country, who joined the McEwen art stewardship.

Blomefield and McEwen met on an art drive and shortly there was the establishment of a makeshift art school on the tobacco farm under the stewardship of McEwen.

Remarkable success on local exhibitions and beyond as well as the moulding of great stone sculptors was realised. But the two had varying philosophies from the beginning, with the former having a special heartfelt attachment to his new life project, which he preferred to refer to it as “Tengenenge” (Place of beginning) while the latter referred to it as the National Gallery’s “Bush Art Studio” because of special attachment to it too. Sadly, with time, the two had an unceremonious life split.

What created the uniqueness of Tengenenge was having various African cultures from different nations living together, observing and respecting each other’s cultural practices.

The artworks created were spiritually inspired by the people’s respective backgrounds and the will to achieve.

Transforming from an agonised farm labourer into a creative human being, whose work could be viewed and appreciated elsewhere, gave the new-born artist self-esteem and respect from colleagues and strangers. This rare breed of the first generation of modern stone sculptors in Zimbabwe, who had Tengenenge experience, went on to achieve fame and greatness across continents. They included locals Chrispen Chakanyuka, Bernard Matemera, Henry Munyaradzi, Edward Chiwawa, Sanwell Chirume, Sylvester Mubayi, Ephraim Chaurika, Enos Gunja, Leman Moses, Fanizani Akuda the Zambian born, Fly Furai and Makina Kameya from Angola, Malawians Josiah Mannzi, Amali Malola and Ali Chitauro and Paul Meza to highlight but a few.

Tengenenge artists’ population grew all the time and they started their own families on the farm, creating a strong African spiritual community in use of 15 or so languages from six countries, though local Shona was everybody’s language of communication.

At some point, the art sales sustained over 1 200 community members. The artists passed on their artistic talent, skills and traditions to their off-springs and now grandchildren. As in nature, a number of these greats have passed on and some left the sculpture community, but others remained and the strong creative art spirit still lingers around.


Indeed, times have changed, the golden rush for spiritual stone sculptures by the market has gone and our country’s lengthy economic hardship continues to exert tremendous pressure. Art business transactions have become elusive for the majority and very minimal for the lucky few. Opportunities and platforms are scarce.

Relief and hope for the young and the future of the Tengenenge community like elsewhere now lies on education, innovativeness and good use of the land. But there were no schools built for farm labourers anywhere nearby, neither were medical facilities, accessible roads and other essential infrastructure. Years on, a nearby school is several kilometres away, so are medical facilities and other essentials. A number of the Tengenenge great artists’ children never set foot on a classroom door like their parents during colonial times and modern times, which demand education, have caught up with them. The same fate had started nibbling on the grandchildren, but in a way has been halted by the assistance of well-wishers, mainly from the foreign lands across water bodies
like the Czech Republic, Austria, France, Germany, People’s Republic of Korea and generous local few like colleague Benhura, nurse Stella and the community themselves to highlight some.

A classroom block was built at Tengenenge to help the infants with early learning.
Marie Imbrova from the Czech Republic, who was a diplomat from their embassy to Zimbabwe, was very instrumental in filling some of the critical missing links of the community and stood by them during some of our country’s most desperate times. She used significant sums of her own income, mobilised some other diplomatic missions and friends from all over to assist in funding for medication, infancy education and revamping broken water systems of Tengenenge.

More importantly, she got birth registrations for children and their parents, as well as sorting out various citizenship issues. Births on the farm by foreigners never had official registrations as the immigrants never had their citizenship issues sorted out by the farm owner.

Establishing an educational facility on the farm needed Government approval and there were pieces of legislation which were supposed to be adhered to.

They included the citizenship status of the intended scholars and their birth registrations, the capacity and remuneration of the teachers, the people involved in the establishment, educational materials and other things. Marie was in the thick of things to get everything rolling.

Today, the Tengenenge preschool facility has prepared over 140 children and the stationed nurse has almost a full-house pharmacy. Other life-sustaining projects for both men and women are up and running. The sculptors’ population is not as much as it used to be, but is as focused and hard working.

Numbers of visitors to Tengenenge are picking up and hope continues to motivate the creative practitioners to soldier on. Long live Tengenenge.


Odkaz: www.herald.co.zw




Říjen 2017

Název článku: TENGENENGE: UNIQUE CRAFT CENTRE

Zdroj: www.herald.co.zw - Feature, Opinion and Analyses, October 07, 2017, 00:10 a.m., Own Correspondent


We are all versed with the founding of the Tengenenge sculpture community in the mid-1960s on a tobacco farm near Guruve during the oppressive colonial rule and the protracted war of liberation of Zimbabwe. It is no secret the immense contribution of the unique creative establishment’s mapping of today’s Zimbabwe stone sculpture practice and the marketing of the medium beyond the country’s geographical demarcations. Today we want to visit the state of the once thriving spiritual stone carving community as it is a natural phenomenon that things do not remain the same.

It will be appropriate to have a brief interface with the history of the conceiving of the stone sculpture colony. It was during the pick of the unbearable colonial oppression and the fighting of the war of liberation of Zimbabwe by the indigenous people in the 60s when the then Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was considerably richer in the British colonised region of Southern Africa. Southern Rhodesia provided cheap labour employment in its vast agricultural lands in the hands of overseas white colonists or foreigners handed to them on a silver platter as colonial privileges. Many nationalities from the region especially Mozambique, Zambia, the then Northern Rhodesia, Malawi the then Nyasaland, Congo and Angola migrated to Zimbabwe for employment.

A subdivided tobacco farm near Guruve owned by a white South African, Tom Blomefield had numerous farm labourers from the above countries.

The farm activities led to the discovery of a quarry with rock suitable for carving. Tom Blomefield who was knowledgeable about art and his workers began to experiment with the medium.

This was a couple of years after the opening of the National Gallery of Southern Rhodesia in 1957 in Salisbury which was the capital city. The opening of the National Gallery had been considered as the most important development in Africa South of Sahara and the role played by its first successful director, a Briton, Frank McEwen.

McEwen had established the National Gallery Art Workshop School and had its early successful students who included Thomas Mukarobgwa, Joseph Ndandarika, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Paul Gwichiri, Boira Mteki and Kingsley Sambo. There were other independent local masons who were natural stone sculptors discovered from the eastern part of the country who joined the McEwen art stewardship.

Tom Blomefield and Frank McEwen met on an art drive and shortly there was the establishment of a makeshift art school on the tobacco farm under the stewardship of Frank. Remarkable success on local exhibitions and beyond as well as the moulding of great stone sculptors was realised. But the two had varying philosophies from the beginning with the former having a special heartfelt attachment to his new life project preferring to refer to it as “Tengenenge” (Place of beginning) whilst the latter referred to it as the National Gallery’s “Bush Art Studio” because of special attachment to it too.

Sadly with time the two had an unceremonious life split. What created the uniqueness of Tengenenge was having various African cultures from different nations living together observing and respecting each other’s cultural practices. The artworks created were spiritually inspired by the people’s respective backgrounds and the will to achieve. Transforming from an agonised farm labourer into a creative human being whose work could be viewed and appreciated elsewhere gave the new born artist self-esteem and respect from colleagues and strangers.

This rare breed of the first generation of modern stone sculptors in Zimbabwe who had Tengenenge experience went on to achieve fame and greatness across continents. They included locals Chrispen Chakanyuka, Bernard Matemera, Henry Munyaradzi, Edward Chiwawa, Sanwell Chirume, Sylvester Mubayi, Ephraim Chaurika, Enos Gunja, Leman Moses, Fanizani Akuda the Zambian Born, Fly Furai and Makina Kameya from Angola, Malawians Josiah Mannzi, Amali Malola and Ali Chitauro and Paul Meza to highlight but a few.

Tengenenge artists’ population grew all the time and they started their own families on the farm, creating a strong African spiritual community in use of 15 or so languages from six countries though local Shona was everybody’s language of communication. At some point the art sales sustained over 1200 community members. The artists passed on their artistic talent, skills and traditions to their off-springs and now grandchildren. As in nature a number of these greats have passed on and some left the sculpture community but others remained and the strong creative art spirit still lingers around.

Indeed times have changed, the golden rush for spiritual stone sculptures by the market has gone and our country’s lengthy economic hardship continues to exert tremendous pressure. Art business transactions have become elusive for the majority and very minimal for the lucky few. Opportunities and platforms are scarce. Relief and hope for the young and the future of the Tengenenge community like elsewhere now lies on education, innovativeness and good use of the land.

But there were no schools built for farm labourers anywhere nearby, neither were medical facilities, accessible roads and other essential infrastructure. Years on, a nearby school is by coincidence and several kilometres away, so are medical facilities and other essentials. A number of the Tengenenge great artists’ children never step foot on a classroom door like their parents during colonial times and modern times which demand education have caught up with them. The same fate had started nibbling on the grandchildren but in a way has been halted by the assistance of well-wishers mainly from the foreign lands across water bodies like the Czech

Republic, Austria, France, Germany, People’s Republic of Korea and generous local few like colleague Benhura, nurse Stella and the community themselves to highlight some. A classroom block was built at Tengenenge to help the infants with early learning.
Marie Imbrova from the Czech Republic who was a diplomat from their embassy to Zimbabwe was very instrumental in filling some of the critical missing links of the community and stood by them during some of our country’s most desperate times.

She used significant sums of her own income, mobilised some other diplomatic missions and friends from all-over to assist in funding for medication, infancy education, revamping broken water systems of Tengenenge. More important she got birth registrations for children and their parents as well as sorting out various citizenship issues.

Births of the farm by foreigners never had official registrations as the immigrants never had their citizenship issues sorted out by the farm owner. Establishing an educational facility on the farm needed government approval and there are pieces of legislation which must be adhered to. They include the citizenship status of the intended scholars and their birth registrations, the capacity and remuneration of the teachers, the people involved in the establishment, educational materials and other things. Marie was in the thick of things to get everything rolling.

Today the Tengenenge preschool facility has prepared over 140 children and the stationed nurse has almost a full-house pharmacy. Other life sustaining projects for both men and women are up and running. The sculptors’ population is not as much as it used to be but is as focused and hard working. Numbers of visitors to Tengenenge are picking up and hope continues to motivate the creative practitioners to soldier on. Long live Tengenenge.

Odkaz: www.herald.co.zw

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