Mushipe targets 5 consecutive Namas

HARARE - Forbes Mushipe, who has won three consecutive National Arts Merit Award (Nama) gongs in the mixed media category, believes he is well-positioned to get a record five awards in a row.

The Gweru-based sculptor is confident that his fourth successive Nama will materialise on February 14 at the 7 Arts Theatre in Harare.

“I respect the artists who are competing with me this year but I am very confident that I will get a fourth consecutive mixed media award in a row,” said Mushipe.

“In fact, my target is to get five awards in a row next year. I will work hard to make that happen and with the help of the Holy Spirit, I will realise my dream.”

The Zimbabwe-born-Mushipe, who grew up in neighbouring Zambia, is convinced that he had what it takes to also win his first Three Dimensional Work award this year.

“I entered the Three Dimensional Work category for the first time this year. This category has been dominated by my close friend Israel Israel for the last two years but I am determined to stop him from getting his third consecutive Three Dimensional Work award,” he said.

“I am very sure I will win this one as well. I am sure Israel was very surprised to see me among the nominees in the Three Dimensional Work category because I entered for this award behind his back.”

Mushipe has challenged other artistes to work hard to stop him from continually winning awards year after year.

“I am tired of taking these awards. I encourage other artists to work harder if they want to dislodge me from the top but the truth of the matter is that it won’t be easy,” he said jokingly.

Mushipe first won a Nama award in 2010 with his mixed media masterpiece titled Barika which was adjudged to be the best in a tightly-contested mixed media category that also featured Victor Nyakauru’s Gava Rakadambura Musungo and Dominic Benhura’s Nzou Samanyanga.

The following year his piece titled “Melodies From the Mermaid” landed him his second successive accolade.

In 2013, Mushipe won his third mixed media award with the piece “Nhapwasikana” ahead of Johnson Zuze’s “Barking Dog” and Anthony Ngandu’s “School Children.”

Mushipe says he draws most of his artistic inspiration from Gweru’s high density suburb of Mkoba where he lives.

“Mkoba is a fertile ground of inspiration for the artist in me. I do not think I would be as successful as I am if I relocate to another area. I am proud to be the most successful visual artist based in Gweru and the Midlands Province,” he told the Daily News on Sunday.

Mushipe has participated in several exhibitions such as Zimbabwe Heritage in 2002 and Harare Biennial in 2004.He has also taken part in high-level exhibitions held in neighbouring South Africa.

Several of his hand-made artworks have made it to many countries all over the world where they have been deposited in permanent collections and private galleries.

Comments (2)

My good friend, please send me your most resent photograph. Send me also the pictures of your recent works. I know they should be amazing. Greetings.

Richard Ndonji - 1 June 2015

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