HARARE - Internationally-acclaimed Spanish fashion designer Manuel Sernagez is in the country for the first time to scout and promote local talent courtesy of ministry of Tourism.
Sernagez visited the country as part of his tour of Africa and on Tuesday he was hosted by sculptor Dominic Benhura.
“I came here in search of different styles of art and I have seen that Zimbabwe’s art is rich and diverse.
“Generally, outside Africa people think that African art is confined to craft but that is not true for I have witnessed it myself. There is diverse art in Africa hence it is my duty to go back and market African artists to the world,” he said.
The Spaniard revealed that he was impressed by Zimbabwean art hence he will include some of it in his work — fashion designing.
“The art is very inspiring and I am going to include it in my works and I hope this will be a positive development in promoting or exposing this type of art to the entire world,” said Sernagez who was accompanied by minister Walter Mzembi’s wife Barbra Hernández Mzembi and, deputy minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry Anastancia Ndlovu.
Ndlovu commended the Spaniard’s visit saying it had come at the right time when the local tourism industry was facing challenges.
“We are hoping Sernagez’s visit will help to improve and promote the works of our artists and in turn the development might attract the much-needed tourists in the country,” she said.
The death of the tourism industry in the country has left local artists especially sculptors scratching for a living as the country has lost revenue from tourists.
In a bid to address the situation, the government of Zimbabwe is trying to spruce up infrastructure in Victoria Falls.
“We have discovered that though we have a number of world class tourist attraction centres in the country, the government was not directly benefiting from some of the centres such as Victoria Falls due to impoverished infrastructure.
“The government has refurbished infrastructure in Victoria Falls including the airport so as to lure back tourists into the country who of late preferred to land on the Zambian side (Livingstone),” said Ndlovu.