AMH is an independent media house free from political ties or outside influence. We have four newspapers: The Zimbabwe Independent, a business weekly published every Friday, The Standard, a weekly published every Sunday, and Southern and NewsDay, our daily newspapers. Each has an online edition.

Hlatywayo champs Ndau culture through tint, mbira music

Life & Style
Kukuya Mamera

EDWIN Hlatywayo, a paint artist with an incredible talent for playing the Ndau mbira,  has come into the global limelight through his rural feminist art which advocates the betterment of the lives of women in all circles of their lives.

Hlatywayo told NewsDay Life & Style that his creative work speaks for the voiceless, while it also teaches people to survive within their means, making use of available resources in their communities.

“I have exhibited paintings in Germany and played mbira music in Ingelfingen, Kunzelsau, Bamburg, Stuttgart and several other venues,” he said.

“About my paintings, Gwejeline is a female illegal miner which I painted in acrylic on wood in memory of female miners that perished seeking a better life, Kukuya Mamera, acrylic on A4 paper describes certain chores set by culture as responsibilities of a woman.

“Mother vendor done in pencil and pen on (A4 paper) depicts how a mother endures all to earn a living, while Help her out done on acrylic on wood on ( 36cm high x 30cm width) calls for collectivism in stopping child marriages. It needs all to come together to help the girl child out of her situation,” he said.

Born and raised in Chipinge, Hlatywayo attended Maria, Muzite and Big Tree primary schools and Chikore High School.

In spite of him never undergoing any arts education, he assumes the responsibility to inspire local youngsters in the field of art through involving and coaching those with interest at the Paiyapo Arts Centre in Chipinge.

In addition to that, Hlatywayo plays mbira music and often collaborates with ensembles like Mutare Tales, Bongai Shamwari Crèche in Mutare and musical groups like Paiyapo Mbira Group and Dandaro Vibes.

Hlatywayo is full of praises for the Paiyapo Arts Development and Heritage Centre in Chipinge and labels it a useful community resource centre in the development of the Ndau culture.

The centre, through its director Phillip Kusasa, played a pivotal role in the incorporation of Ndau language in the mainstream school curriculum.

“Paiyapo Arts Development and Heritage Centre is a spring of arts to those with interest. It has helped me and other artists in several dimensions. I get inspiration, ideas and important art tips from the crowds that gather there. It has given me experience to work with artists and learn a lot as an executive member of the centre. It is a community jewel that gives the locals pride as it puts the Ndau people on the international map,” Hlatywayo said.

“The annual festival, Ndau Festival of the Arts, has enormous ideas that have stuck in the veins of many and that stretches to international level. It calls for help from the business world and the government at large to make it more viable. There is a need for a clean water source and reliable source of electricity.

“Art needs support. It requires materials that need financial backing in order to procure them. Very little consideration has been had for visual artists especially from our rural backgrounds.”

Related Topics