Artist targets UNWTO indaba for marketing

HARARE - Visual artist Aaron Chikukuza is targeting the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to be jointly held by Zimbabwe and Zambia as a platform to market his products.

Chikukuza who started visual arts in 2006 has been working on the country’s tourist attractions and is currently putting much of his focus on the Victoria Falls, where it will be held.

In an interview with the Daily News, Chikukuza said he wants to make life-size prototypes of the Victoria Falls, to add on to what he is currently doing.

“I am looking at the UNWTO which will be held next year. I want to make life size models, two of which I plan to give to the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (Caaz). I want them placed at the Harare International Airport and the Victoria Falls Airport."

“I am doing all this so that when people come in they will be greeted by the Victoria falls, hence making them want to see more. I will also make other models to have delegates take back home,” he said.

Chikukuza, 26, said his getting into visual arts is more of a calling from God and he started working on the Victoria Falls in 2008.

“I was inspired by my pastor who preached about seeing beyond what everyone sees.

“The Victoria Falls has been illustrated in different ways, paintings, books, T-shirts but I decided to make it more real. I want to help all those who have been putting effort in marketing the country. I am really looking forward to the UNWTO as it is a major event,” he said.

So far making the model has cost the artist only $50.

“It is made out of recycled paper, oil paint, sponge and different light materials. The artist said he felt obligated to help in marketing the country hence working on the Victoria Falls model."

“I am glad that the tourism officials have been so receptive and we are working well together. I have their blessing and I hope I will succeed in everything. I am sure there will be exhibitions at the conference and I hope to showcase my artwork,” he said.

Chikukuza has also made prototypes of the Kariba Dam, Great Zimbabwe and Matopos Hills.

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