Migration by Lovemore Kambudzi, 2015, oil on canvas, 251x152cm

MIGRATION is plaguing the world. Millions of people are leaving their homes in Africa and Asia for survival and greener pastures. An exhibition of paintings on migration was held recently in Harare, Zimbabwe. This is the story of Lovemore Kambudzi, the artist who painted the painting we have featured,  Migration . 

I was born in 1978 in Seke, Chitungwiza, Harare, Zimbabwe. Today, I live in the suburb of Strathaven, Harare. Since 1999, my family members migrated to the United Kingdom and the United States. 

I never got the chance because I was still in school. After some years of hardships faced by closing companies and manufacturing industries leading to unemployment, many found themselves  fleeing to neighboring countries around Africa and the world. As an artist, we were the first group to be hit by the economic instabilities. 

There were shortages of art materials like canvas and oil paints. I then asked my wife to travel to Botswana and South Africa to acquire basic commodities for the family and for me to continue painting. 

In 2006, l traveled to South Africa alone and was amazed at how desperate people were to leave! There was so much chaos at the borders and until now, nothing has changed. 

The officials at the borders ask why people are leaving a country where there is no war. The silent war is that one of old policies, poor health facilities, high unemployment rates, poor education and low income for professionals among other things.   

All this, besides the powerless and collapsed law enforcement, pushes people to move to greener pastures, where there is better education for less, employment for the professionals and general manual workers, better medical attention, availability of basic commodities and so on and so on. 

Kambudzi painted  Migration  early in 2015. It is oil on canvas, and measures 251 x 152 cm. The picture was shown at an exhibition on migration at Gallery Delta, foundation for art and the humanities in Harare The gallery is in the former home of Robert Paul (1906–1980), now regarded as Zimbabwe’s finest landscape painter.

■Their website can be found at: http://new.gallerydelta.com and their email: artdelta@mweb.co.zw

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Merle Guttmann

Merle Guttmann was born and educated in Zimbabwe and immigrated to Israel in 1962. She is well-known in Israeli Anglophone circles and Israel’s social and volunteer fields. A social planner, ...
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