By Tendai Kamusikiri
Have you ever wondered if Zimbabwe breeds any creatives or even the word “creative” alone actually exists? I know what you are thinking… Are there creatives in Zimbabwe? Your first assumption is probably yes but how is it even possible? Your second assumption is probably no, there wouldn’t be anyone crazy enough in Zimbabwe to take up such a role. With the current economical state and the patriarchal culture that every Zimbabwean household abides upon you would think there is no such thing as a creative, let alone a creative entrepreneur! Well I will answer your question by saying there are creatives and yes there are creative fashion entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe.
Recently I came across an exhibition by a final year student from the Chinhoyi University of Technology (C.U.T) titled “The Sound of My Creative Voice”, at Harare’s first creative hub Moto Republik. Natasha Ruvimbo Mubare is a young creative woman that dabbles both in art and fashion design, with her passion solely based in being an artist. Both of these skills she had acquired and harvested at the Chinhoyi University of Technology studying for a BSc. Honors in Creative Art and Design. Natasha isn’t the only creative maestro that has been nurtured out of C.U.T, notable creatives in fashion design are Tinashe Adby Phiri of Znzorzi Adby, Tapfumanei Munenge of House of Tapfumanei Munenge and Nompumelelo Marilyn Samambgwa of Noe. Es – a swimsuit brand that was built to cater for the curvaceous African woman. Even more so, all these alumni from the institution have showcased their talents and creations on one of Zimbabwe’s most prestigious fashion platforms; Zimbabwe Fashion Week.
Going back to the exhibition, it was truly inspiring and eye opening to witness how C.U.T has become a prime institution in nurturing untapped wonders of creative association and freedom. As a leading tertiary institution, C.U.T is the only University in Zimbabwe that that has a Fashion and Art school which offers two of its finest creative programs in Art and Fashion Design; as afore mentioned BSc. Hons in Creative Art and Design, and BSc. Honors in Clothing Fashion and Design.
I hope this has answered your question pertaining to the creative industry and creative entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe. I would further like to point out that creative association is not just limited to fashion and art, but visuals, animation, bloggers, videographers, photographers yes the list goes on. Some of it is an inborn nature and for some it has to be nurtured in literature, practice and application, heck it could be by default. One of the lecturers at the exhibition gave an interesting opening speech that touched on the creatives and its subsequent poor appreciation in Zimbabwe. He went on to point out that C.U.T has taught some of the best young creatives in the country, giving off their talent and element to local newspaper publications and advertorial material. That billboard or logo you may come across on a daily, the one you are particularly fond with, is potentially the product of a C.U.T alumni. Consciously you won’t realise it but subliminally you might get the message and invest in that product just because the visual and advertorial caught your attention. This is when you can pay homage to the Chinhoyi University of Technology for being of service to such refined creation.