BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
From time immemorial art has been used as a reaction to social unrest as well as inequality and for local sculptor David Ngwerume, his art work is a vehicle for discussions on societal issues such as child marriages, unity and justice, among others.
Ngwerume, a lawyer by profession, has been trending globally, thanks to his collections under themes such as Thy Next World, Taking the Reigns, Halt Child Marriages and the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Some of his recent artifacts were a response to the heartbreaking story of a 14-year-old girl, Anna Machaya, who died in July while giving birth at an apostolic sect shrine in Marange.
The pieces of work under the Halt Child Marriages collection trended across the length and breadth of the world, shocking the global community, including the United Nations.
The global condemnation of Machaya’s case compelled the government to take action and according to Ngwerume, that’s the purpose of art.
“Art is a very powerful medium since the medieval times and in most societies art reflects and shapes views,” Ngwerume said.
“Art is a freedom on its own which through its expression captures past, present and future which solidly gives an everlasting sensation on its subjects that matter.”
“I used my creative awareness in stimulating a strong movement against child marriages recently through my masterpiece titled Halt Child Marriages and from there societies became alive amplifying the same vibes.
“Many societies’ challenges can easily be addressed if we use art to invoke debates across all that’s weighing us down.”
His latest collection under the Covid-19 Pandemic theme titled In This Together Africa addresses the inequalities with regards to Covid-19 vaccinations.
“As Africa only about 5% of our population is fully vaccinated and we are advocating for a pro-active approach that see us getting more access and rights through partnerships,” Ngwerume said.
“Our continent is capable of playing a major role, but with such a pace, it shall take the world a long time to overcome this Covid-19 pandemic.”
“We are pushing towards addressing the global inequality on vaccines and fostering on how best we can redress the in balances in this fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Let’s not sleep in our walks as Africa our voices should be heard now.”
Ngwerume, who started stone sculpture in 1995 under the tutelage of one of the renowned sculptors Cosmas Muchenje in Musana in Mashonaland Central province, wants to use art for the benefit of society.
“To me art is a reflection of perception shared to the contemporary world in mediums that easily resonates with humanity, it manifests my belief and relates to the world,” he said.
“My desire to see the world transform into a better place has encouraged me to soldier on in this journey, releasing sculpture piece after sculpture piece in stone as a medium mainly in abstract form with a pure intention that invokes deeper thoughts amongst humanity.”
Ngwerume said he had no problems combining his work as a lawyer and his passion as an artiste.
“In both (art and law) advocacy for humanity is the unison, an artist has a duty to advocate for a better world in their times through various mediums of choice in my instance stone sculpture is usually my medium,” Ngwerume said.
“The law has always inspired my resoluteness in discerning facts versus fiction, truth versus false, fake versus reality without fear and favour.”