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Art for national development: Ngwerume

Kennedy Nyavaya

Art, in its different forms and genres, can assist the country in development as well as progress towards a better future, prominent sculptor and lawyer David Ngwerume has said.

Ngwerume, who has pursued art for over two decades, recently attracted the attention of many on social media following his granite stone piece titled The New Normal.

Speaking to the Style in a wide-ranging interview, the 40-year-old artist said art is the hallmark of creation and without it humanity would lack imagination and hence fail to advance in life.

“Artists are visionaries who can lead through their creativity. That is why you see most valuable or expensive things in the world are all art. There cannot be progress or going forward in the world without the creativity of artists towards inventions,” he explained.

Having travelled the world, exhibiting his work abroad and locally, the prominent lawyer described artwork as an effective tool for positive change that could impact local lives immensely if viewed with reverence.

“Art is the fastest way that can change the world because it gives inspiration towards invention. It also can preserve history and pause life for a moment,” he said, adding that lack of appreciation had seen most of Zimbabwe’s art gain more recognition beyond its borders.

“Zimbabwe has a super positioning in terms of art and our work can be found in most parts of the world. However, other people are benefiting more from our art because we have not done much to realise or utilise our own potential. People beyond our borders appreciate our great potential more than we do.”

Ngwerume said the trending piece depicting a woman wearing a mask draws inspiration from the daily reality the world is faced with in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

He also disclosed that for every weekend through the course of the year, he will be unveiling different pieces depending on the particular theme he would have worked on, while giving background on his social media platforms.

Last week, Ngwerume released work titled Daring a Mustang under a collection of pieces made of brown chrysoprase stone and dubbed Taking the Reigns.

“Taking the Reins collection is about horses. Thy voice saddled my will as follows: Since strength does not come from physical capacity but it comes from indomitable will, stay strong like a Mustang for not all who wander are lost. Focus on what’s going right, keep hope as your anchor of thy soul…,” he explained the piece online.

Some of Ngwerume’s famous works include Scales of Justice erected in front of the Harare and Bulawayo High Courts, Recreation, which stands at Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, and Connecting the World at State House.

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