Exploring the Art of Zimbabwean Traditional Kitchens

Genre : Society news
Principal country concerned : Column : Heritage
Release/publication date : June 2015
Published on : 06/05/2015
Source : http://www.zimbojam.com/arts-culture/fine-art/item/3580-exploring-the-art-of-zimbabwean-traditional-kitchens 6 May 2015

Do you remember your grandmother's kitchen kumusha? Did you ever pay attention to its individuality and to the amount of detail that went into constructing and decorating it? A new exhibition that opened last week at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe does just that.

'The Traditional Kitchen' opened at the Gallery on Thursday April 30 and will run through mid-June. It is the second installment of the Design Show Exhibition that showcases local contemporary art.

In order to showcase a kitchen, they had to actually BUILD a kitchen inside the National Gallery - well, actually, half a kitchen; bricks, mortar and all (See photo gallery below).

The exhibition curators, world-renowned and multi-talented Harare designer, Professor Saki Mafundikwa and National Gallery Director, Mrs Doreen Sibanda said in a statement, "The exhibition is an investigation of the designs that already exist within us. The Traditional Kitchen is the finest example of the traditional Zimbabwe house. It is the most elaborate in design and sturdiest in construction."

"The Traditional Kitchen is the heart of the home in all human society. Food is prepared and often consumed in the kitchen hut which is also the most important family gathering place."

The exhibition offers a wide range of products that are often found in a traditional kitchen, including migoti, (cooking sticks) and hari (clay pots). It is a reminder of the African tradition and one has to remember where they come from. 

Professor Mafundikwa is a champion in African design and aesthetics, and this is one of his numerous projects that interrogate the African elements of design, writing, "Africans do have a tradition of design, and the only reason we don't think so is colonial conditioning. That's going to change henceforth."

The exhibition opened during HIFA and drew scores of interested festival goers during the six day arts showcase.



  • Arterial network
  • Media, Sports and Entertainment Group (MSE)
  • Gens de la Caraïbe
  • Groupe 30 Afrique
  • Alliance Française VANUATU
  • Zimbabwe : Culture Fund Of Zimbabwe Trust
  • RDC : Groupe TACCEMS
  • Rwanda : Positive Production
  • Togo : Kadam Kadam
  • Niger : ONG Culture Art Humanité
  • Collectif 2004 Images
  • Africultures Burkina-Faso
  • Bénincultures / Editions Plurielles
  • Africiné
  • Afrilivres

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