Zim art delegation relishes Surajkund Mela experience

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Simunye Arts ensembel and government representative Spiwe Jiri (in red)

Kennedy Nyavaya

Today marks one week since the beginning of the annual Surajkund International Crafts Mela (Fair) in India’s Haryana State where a Zimbabwean delegation has joined over a thousand exhibitors in showcasing various artistry and cultural work.

Representing Zimbabwe this year, courtesy of the Embassy of India in partnership with Ministry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, is a cultural dance group (Simunye Arts Ensemble) and a wire craft artiste, Stewart Mauzinyu.

In an interview with the Independent a government representative Spiwe Jiri said this is a platform for the local creative community to tap into new markets.

“The fair exposes a lot in arts and creative industry that includes cultural and contemporary crafts all housed in one place, for our country this helps in cultural integration and exposure of our local artistes in search for new markets for their products,” said Jiri.

Jiri, who hailed the event’s presentation in the Faridabad district, said the different thematic forms adopted here are a classic way to safeguard culture which locals could also implement.

“Having rotational theme states helps to preserve the culture of all states within the country which can be adopted in Zimbabwe as well,” she said.

Meanwhile, Mauzinyu also expressed happiness with the rate at which his work has become a hit attracting many buyers over the past week in a boon he has never experienced in his career.

“I am extremely happy with the way my pieces are being bought and as someone who had never gone this far to sell his work, this is surely a great market even better than some places I have sold,” said Mauzinyu whose work is sold in SADC countries and USA.

However, tangible artistic products are not the only marvel at the show that incorporates music and dance making the ambiance surreal for jovial festival goers thronging the 40-acre exhibition park set to close on February 17.

Simunye Arts Ensemble has been flying the country’s flag high after proving very popular with attendants, attracting scores to the Zimbabwe stand everytime they start performing.

The Victoria Falls-based dancers mesmerised many with the Mbende Jerusarema, Muchongoyo, Dinhe and Mbakumba dance moves coupled with imposing drum beats that kept the mood spirited.

The fair, which attracts hundreds of thousands of attendants from across the world, is in 33rd edition and boasts of a colourful scenery where one can access a wide range of handmade artistic products from India’s rural folk as well as other countries showcasing.

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