The Nehanda Re-Imagined initiative is a project to revive and re-imagine depictions and the legacy of Mbuya Nehanda in their plurality and diversity, bringing her to a contemporary setting. There has been much discussion on social media in reaction to the current construction of a monument dedicated to Mbuya Nehanda in Harare, with particular controversy around the sculpture done by artist Mutasa. Zimbabweans from across the spectrum expressed views and sentiments which illustrated how differently the iconic historical figure is viewed, showing a possible need for diverse and collective artistic expressions that pay tribute to Mbuya Nehanda.
We seek to create a collection of contemporary imagery and narratives of Mbuya Nehanda, through new interpretations of how she is visualised as a host, heroine, mother, grandmother, revolutionary, charismatic military heroine, feminist. The project is an interrogation of her legacy through several visual iterations and writings to create contemporary narratives of her legacy. It is a critical creative brainstorming approach to further explore and research the plurality of ways in which Nehanda can be represented in monumental sculpture, various forms of 2-dimensional forms and also other forms of public and accessible artforms. the idea of deep research into the various narratives of Nehanda, most importantly a plurality versus a monolithic representation of the idea of Nehanda. In this project, collaborations are highly encouraged, and engagements with the various narratives of Nehanda is strongly recommended.
Our aim is to democratize research, design, representation and the artistic processes that lead to public art in the context of Zimbabwe starting with the iconic story of Nehanda Nyakasikana.
Templates and guidelines for submissions download below
- To create a body of work pluralising and expanding the legacy of Mbuya Nehanda in a contemporary form packaged for contemporary audiences (local and global).
- To be a compelling ode to Mbuya Nehanda that complements other works dedicated to her legacy in recent times.
- To inspire Zimbabweans and future generations of Zimbabweans to continue to produce works that pay homage to our historical icons and leaders.
- To create the largest collection of alternative interpretations of Mbuya Nehanda
Book (Printed and E Book)
A curated collection of essays, articles, discussions, short stories, poems, sketches, and Illustrations will be published in a book which will be available in print and ebook format. The Ebook version will be available for free online. The book will be published by end of 2021.
This project is open to Zimbabweans of all ages and from all locations around the world.
(Painters / Illustrators / Designers / Photographers / Printmakers / Architects / Sculptors / Installation artists / Digital Artists / Typographers etc…)
Artists from different disciplines to produce portraits or full length depictions of Nehanda in their own creative interpretations.
> Format PDF (Press Quality)
> Jpeg 300dpi
> 200 words – Project rationale.
Writers & Poets
(Poets / Writers / Academics / Bloggers)
Writers may produce literary pieces on various aspects of the Nehanda legacy. These can be in the form of a short story, poem, article, academic text.
> Maximum of 3000 words (If more words required this can be discussed).
> English/Shona/slang (street lingua)
(All participants need to submit a biography)
> Bio (150 words)
> First Name
> Passport sized photo (300dpi)
> Social media Handles (Twitter, Instagram, website)
- Artists retain all rights to the work they submit for this project
- POVO Afrika reserves the right to showcase the work on its social media platforms for marketing of the project. Crediting the artist/author where applicable.
- Artists/authors retain all rights to the work submitted
- All articles/artwork submitted must be original work that has not been published previously in the exact form, and is not currently under consideration by any other publication
- It is the responsibility of authors to ensure that all copyright issues have been addressed prior to submission. Any consequences for copyright law of infringement will be duly borne by the defaulting author
- In the event that there is a request to buy or republish the work elsewhere, POVOAfrika will link the creator directly and will not act as a middle man
- Artists/authors may publish/include in other collections or anthologies after 4 months of publishing. However they may share their work on the social media after the exhibition has opened.
- All participants will be required to sign a release contract for the publishing of the work for this first edition.
- Proceeds from any book sales will go towards production, printing costs and distribution fees to get copies to National Archives, National Galleries, Public Libraries, and other institutes of interest in Zimbabwe for posterity.
- This is a not for profit project
Send submissions to email@example.com