Matobo painted huts competition launch set

(File Photo): National Gallery Zimbabwe

This year’s “My Beautiful Home” competition will be launched with an exhibition showcasing a photographic collection by official photographer Andre F van Rooyen on July 16. The exhibition, to be launched at the National Gallery, will be officially opened by Sports, Arts and Culture ministry’s principal director Paul Bayethe Damasane.


It will feature images of exhibitors and painted homes from last year’s competition, together with an exclusive selection of van Rooyen’s vast photographic collection. My Beautiful Home, which was held for the first time last year, aims to recognise and reward the traditional art of decorating huts with natural pigments and, in so doing, maintain a valuable cultural practice while encouraging sustainable development.

Last year’s competition saw local companies sponsoring prizes of ploughs, water carriers, wheelbarrows, seeds, fertiliser and kitchenware to winners in the various categories.

Prizes were awarded for the best hut exterior as well as the best kitchen/interior design, with the overall award going to a Mrs S Ngwenya of Ward 16 in Matobo District for her beautifully rendered designs both on the inside and outside of the huts in her homestead.

The 2014 inaugural competition saw over 30 entries from two wards within the Matobo District competing. Based on the success of last year, the competition has this year been extended from two wards to seven, considerably expanding its scope and influence.

Organisers of the competition, a group of volunteers with shared interests in the Matopos, architecture, art and culture, are looking for funding and sponsorship of prizes to keep the competition going.

“While we are very excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the competition and the fact that it has swelled to seven wards, the logistics of running the competition is growing and becoming more challenging,” said a spokesman.

“During meetings with Chief Malaki Masuku, village heads and villagers, it’s clear the competition has given them renewed enthusiasm and energy about their art and culture and they welcome the development it promises to bring to their district.

“Its significance as a means of stimulating a renewed interest in and increasing the profile of this art form in the rural areas can not be underestimated. However this can only be achieved through funding,” he said.