By Alfred Tembo
Award-winning visual artist Forbes Mushipe is mulling at collaboration with environment stakeholders, including the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe. The project will see the commission facilitating the planting of at least 1,3 million trees in the Midlands province before the end of the year.
Mushipe is organising a series of group street exhibitions under the theme, Paradise Restoration.
He said teaming up with the Forestry Commission and other stakeholders would go a long way in raising environmental awareness and encourage the planting of trees in the province.
“I am interested in promoting the protection of the forest and its habitants,” Mushipe told Standard Style.
“As an artiste, I draw my inspiration from nature.”
Forestry Commission extension manager for Midlands province Rodrick Nyahwai said they remained committed towards protection of forests and non-timber forestry resources in protected forests.
“We still hope that we will be able to meet our target of planting at least 1,3 million trees before year end,” said Nyahwai.
In most parts of the Midlands province deforestation has been attributed to mining activities and construction.
Meanwhile, Midlands State University and Mkoba Teacher’s College are expected to collaborate with Mushipe in a series of public exhibitions to be conducted in communities in the province.
“Midlands State University and Mkoba Teacher’s College are key in that they have the artistic element needed in advocating for environmental protection,” Mushipe said.
“The two institutions have always been friends of the Forbes Mushipe Arts Studio.”
Mushipe said a collective agreement on the protection of nature and wildlife was important, adding that the country’s development should not outshine nature at its benefits and impact on mankind.
“Unlike other African countries that have strong working policies and legal frameworks that protect wildlife and nature, Zimbabwe seems to be turning a blind eye, owing it to personal interests of individually lining their pockets,” he said.
Advocating for animal protection has not been a common tradition among black African and this has seen the African continent losing a lot of money in potential revenue.