One of the women at the launch

Photography and poet set to empower women

Nhlalwenhle Ngwenya
PARTNERING National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo, Diamond Berry Ent has set in motion a week-long Winter Affair still photography exhibition and poetry, in a unique feat to empower women.

Women, despite having the mantle to make it in any career, have always complained of inequality and bias. The arts sector is no exception.

Thus using visual arts, the exhibition titled Winter Affair seeks to motivate women out of assumed social positions.

The exhibition running under the themes ranging from Ubuntu, Africanism to name a few, took off in a colourful official opening at the gallery on Monday and is set to end on Saturday.

During the official launch of the exhibition destined to be an annual event, Bulawayo Mayor Councillor Martin Moyo in his speech said, women should grab all opportunities presented to them.

a�?Women shouldna��t feel marginalised but rather they should embrace opportunities availed to them. As a result they should as well celebrate such occasions daily,a�? said the Mayor.

Organisers of the exhibition Nhlanhla Dabengwa, speaking after the official launch of the exhibition on Monday said the main thrust of the occasion was to celebrate women and encourage them to take bold steps towards reaching their dreams.

a�?Our main vision is to empower women through still images and for them to be able to confront challenging situations they find themselves in. As women they dona��t have to confine themselves to assumed societal positions like being housewives, the images that we are showcasing challenge women to be engineers and doctors,a�? said Dabengwa.

Dabengwa added that he was surprised by the overwhelming support they got from Bulawayo citizens and the corporate world.

a�?The attendance was impressive and very promising. People came in their numbers. Companies like Black Redding, Arenel Biscuits and Afdis Distillers made this possible. Ita��s good to note that people out there are willing to support initiatives that empower women,a�? he said.

While women who attended the official launch said they were intrigued by exhibited pieces, they also want to showcase their pictures in the coming exhibition.

a�?This is a very good initiative and we hope that ita��s here to stay. I am touched and motivated by these photos. I want to showcase my own pictures in the coming exhibition, to reach out to young women out there,a�? said one lady identifying herself as Nomvulo Zondo.

Winter affair is exhibiting 50 photographs taken by Mgcini Nyoni and Eugene from South Africa. The main event will be on Saturday whereby poets that include The real African Trade, Lady Profound, Natasha K and church music are set to give poetic interpretation of the images.