EXCLUSIVE: ZIMBABWE’S MULTI AWARD WINNING VISUAL ARTIST, KEITH ZENDA
Keith Zenda is a multi-award-winning visual artist who is also the founder of the Musasa Arts Culture, Born in 1985, Chirumanzu rural areas, Zimbabwe, I am the first born in a family of 4 boys. And realized his art talent at the very young age, his artwork has been showcased across Southern Africa in countries that include, South Africa, Zambia etc.
In an exclusive interview we talk to him about his recent work and find out how much his first artwork was bought.
TR: Keith Zenda thank you for your moment. Can you describe your journey in a sentence?
KZ: My journey hasn’t been easy but because of my passion and persistence. I never gave up and I am still moving.
TR: What inspires your artwork?
KZ: My work is inspired by my background, growing up in rural areas. I appreciated my background because of my background and tradition that has been my biggest inspiration.
I see the rural lifestyle is more vanishing into modern life people are now building houses using ‘Zinc and Asbestos’ material instead of grass and wood which is the traditional way.
TR: You began your career at 16, take us through the journey.
KZ: I began my career at the age of 16, although I had discovered my talent during my heydays at primary when I was doing charts.
TR: What was your first art portrait and how much was it worth?
KZ: My first portraits were made for my family and friends which were for free, I didn’t charge anyone by then.
However, I recall the first painting I sold for $1300US at Gallery Delta. The painting had won the first prize.
TR: Briefly can you describe your work and what set it apart from other types of artworks?
KZ: Whenever I am doing something, I do it out of my imagination. When doing something out of your imagination it becomes unique for example the painting, I did with a pot with three legs and people running out of it and being free at last this is the same style I did with Nash painting.
That is my identity, thinking out of the box and doing something unique.
TR: Part of your work, Looking Behind the Pot was nominated at this year’s NAMAs, can you tell us the inspiration of the story?
KZ: My work that was nominated during the NAMAs was inspired by how women are attached to kitchen utilises and the way they invest their money in buying Kitchen utilises and when the utilises such as pots and spoons are old tare thrown away.
The pot had some rusts similarity to the scars that women go through and abuse they get when they are marred.
The story also highlighted is about how women, when they are married, they are told what to do and they are not free.
TR: What did it mean to have your work being nominated?
KZ: In other words, the nomination meant recognition of my work, that I am doing everything in the right direction and my work is being appreciated at home as a visual artist.
TR: You have showcased your work across Southern Africa how has your work been welcomed by the public?
KZ: They love my work because it speaks to them, their lifestyle, history as my work is more of African art and lifestyle.
TR: Why did you opened a local gallery and how has it benefited local artists?
KZ: The gallery motivated young upcoming artists to showcase their work and gives them a moment to meet well established artists.
We have managed to work hand in hand with the National gallery.
Our main aim is to attract tourists both local and International as this will benefit the artists and the community.
In addition, recently I was working with the Climate Change team along with other upcoming artists.
TR: What advise do you have to upcoming artists?
KZ: My advice is having passion and don’t give up; practice make it perfect.
Prayer makes things happen, art is spiritual you are sending a message to the world and impacting lives.