As you’re probably already aware, it’s been exactly thirty years since Zimbabwe was declared independent. As a new generation gears itself up to take the reins we thought we’d do a head count of thirty young Zimbabweans whose stories and achievements we would rather celebrate as opposed to the doom and gloom the mainstream media enjoys peddling about Zim.
Some we’ve known all along, others we have recently come up on, some are established, some are on their way, all are living examples that despite what we’re told there are people getting on with it, making a difference in their respective arenas just by doing them.
This list is is in no particular order, and is by no means definitive. We invite you to add more names in the comments. We had fun making the selection and hope you will enjoy reading it too.
If one single person epitomized the Zim 30 as we otherwise refer to this list, Kudzanai Â Chiurai would be the one. Born in 1981 Zimbabwe, he was the first black student to graduate with a BA (fine art) from the university of Pretoria in South Africa where he lives in exile after his early works dared challenge and poke fun at president Robert Mugabe’s politics.
This will be the reason he will often be typecast as a political artist.
Certainly there is no escaping the long shadow of Bob over the lives of Zimbabweans in general but we at AfriPOP! are thoroughly enjoying unpacking the many layers densely contained in Kudzi’s Basquiat and Hip-hop -inspired perspective on African politics, urban living, and identity amongst other things.
He has shown his work in cities like Dakar, Melbourne, London, Cape Town and Johannesburg. That main image up top is his work.
Jozi dwellers can catch his latest exhibition Communists and Hot Chicken Wings, The Birth of a Nation at the Goodman Gallery Project Space until 10 May 2010 .
Born in Iowa, raised in Zimbabwe and graduated from New York University, Danai Gurira is a force for African women everywhere. Not only as an actress (The Visitor, Law and Order) but also as a playwright. In The Continuum, a 2006 Pulitzer finalist play which portrays the parallel lives of two women living with AIDS one in LA, the other in Zimbabwe. And that’s been the mould for her more recent play Eclipsed (2009) in which the characters, former Liberian sex Â slaves go about life after their respective horror-filled pasts.
Vocalist, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Eska is one of the great unsung heroes of British music. In a fair and just world she would be bigger than Amy and Alicia, but for now fans have to be content with her scene-stealing guest appearances with the likes of Tony Allen, Ty and Nitin Sawhney. Or even her own recordings which we wish would culminate into an album already. Check out her Shona-spiced rendition of The Police’s Walking on The Moon here. It will do things to ya!
Not a lot of introduction needs to be made about this A-list Zimbabwean/English actress, without a doubt one of the most successful in Britain (where she is based) having proved herself with roles in films like Run Fat Boy Run, The Pursuit of Happiness, her bafta-winning one in Crash and also as Condoleezza Rice in W.
See the rest of the list at AfriPOP!