‘Recycling artists key to environmental hygiene’

Mukuwiri encouraged fellow visual artists to prioritise acquisition of knowledge of creative works through enrolling at relevant training centres.

ENVIRONMENTAL visual artist Manners Mukuwiri says recycling artists have played a major role in keeping the Chitungwiza environs clean.

Mukuwiri abandoned information and technology studies at Danhiko College midway and found solace in crafting metal artworks and since then he has never looked back.

He told NewsDay Life & Style that his metal can artistry which ranges from figurines of rhinos, hippos, zebras and flowers for decoration have attracted global markets, adding that the green innovation drive should be well-resourced because it has transformed people’s attitudes towards waste.

“I am a self-taught craftsman and have learnt more about art from my colleagues at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre. Recycling is now a source of income for many and guess what? I used to get empty cans easily, but for now it has been difficult because metal scrap is being collected for recycling by industrialists,” he said.

“I am happy with that because this is helping a lot in keeping Chitungwiza town clean. My bead work has been well received too and I wish each and every homestead, starting with my neighbours, to have at least three or four bead flowers in their display cabinets as a way of saving the environment.”

Mukuwiri encouraged fellow visual artists to prioritise acquisition of knowledge of creative works through enrolling at relevant training centres.

“I have innovated many crafts but my efforts have not been fully recognised because of neglect on copyright registration and its enforcement respectively,” he noted.

Mukuwiri said acquired information technology competencies had helped him to perfectly fit into the social media landscape and web learning.

Mukuwiri noted that he got to know about many wildlife animals through stories and pictures before he had the opportunity to see most of the animals during visits to game parks.

Through his crafts and bead work, Mukuwiri said he wished to conscientise people on wildlife preservation and the importance of game viewing.

“My favourite animal is the giraffe because it has a beautiful camouflage colour and a calm character. It is more interesting to watch when it is drinking water as it spreads its legs wide apart while its long neck bows into the water source. The long neck soars high again to browse tree leaves and report on any forthcoming danger,” he said.

“I have crafted the giraffes, rhinos and hippos in different postures.”

Mukuwiri believes recycling artists can be a source of inspiration to industrialists who wish to capture their image designs on products which are market driven.

He reckons that investors in the arts industry should inform artists in time about their creative demands so that beauty is not compromised.

“Art is literature and may be interpreted differently. How would one interpret the meaning behind yawning alligators, geckos and nimble lizards? The more people struggle to make accurate interpretations, the more popular the piece of work gets.

“I crafted a musical ensemble of geckos simply because geckos are called a band when they cry or call each other. This also reminds me of pastexperience when we saw a gecko band mourning as it dragged one of its deceased from  its hiding place,” he added.

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