Realism artist, Award winning Keith Zenda born in Chirumanzu rural area in 1985 was inspired by rural lifestyle to become a phenomenal artist.
Zenda unfortunately lost his father at a tender age and his mother raised him.
“I am a first born in a family of four boys and grew up being taken care by my mother after my father died in 1996”, Zenda said.
During his school going days he was so normadic that he attended several schools.
Zenda said that, “I did my primary school at Chilimanzi Primary School, then transferred to Fairview Primary School and then transferred back to Chilimanzi Primary School”.
“For my secondary education, I went to Siyahokwe Secondary School and did my Ordinary level at Mambo High School in Gweru”, he went on to say.
Growing up in rural areas, Zenda used to mould small sculptures, did some drawings and managed the charts for his primary school classroom.
“I started drawing when I was in grade 4”, Zenda revealed.
One of his art is a drawing of a young boy carring some bananas in a dish.
Zenda revealed that the art of a boy with a dish of bananas is a replica of him growing up.
“I grew up selling some bananas after school time and on weekends helping my mother who was a vendor then”, he said.
As a first born child he assisted in the livelihood of his family through selling.
He went on to say, “my art captures the social lifestyle that I am surrounded with.
I can say I grew up in poverty and now I am telling my story through art of how I came out“.
Being born in poverty does not mean one can also die in poverty, Zenda’s story is a tale that inspires every child brought up in marginalised communities to aim for higher and better life.
Zenda has a unique and personal art which he refers to as his identity.
“My art is known as realism or surelism which I am branding to zendaism art for my identity”, he said.
Zenda bemoaned lack of art support from society, be it moral or physical support.
“In our communities they don’t appreciate and value art that much, an artist have to search for people who have interest in art in order to make ends meet”, said Zenda.
Instead of concentrating on art, most of the time artists spend their time on social media platforms searching for market for their products, Zenda hastily put it.
He added that there is preconceived misconception that, “art is more known and mostly appreciated by white and rich communities”.
“The support on artists must improve especially from our business community and government”, he said.
There must be diverse art curriculums in schools, artists grants, bursaries, art residences, more art events at national level and to engage artists on the cultural exchange programs as a way of supporting artists, Zenda emphasised.
Meeting His Excellence the President of Zimbabwe E.D Mnangagwa, meeting some esteemed business leaders, winning an art award and being nominated on the NAMA Awards are some of Zenda’s major highlights in his illustrious carrier.
“When I go to some art events and come back home without selling anything are some of my lowest moments in my carrier”, Zenda added on.
“Art can be for fun or therapy. Art heals as well as it brings the community together.
Upcoming artists must not limit their imagination and must think outside the box”, Zenda said these encouraging words.
As parting remarks, Zenda said, “I am establishing an Art Center and mentoring youths and upcoming artists from the grassroots level as a way of giving back to the community”.
To view his art, one can log on to this link : https://www.facebook.com/keith.zenda.3?mibextid=LQQJ4d