The Night was filled with Glittz and Glamour accompanied by the glitterati that were present. The fashion sense spelled out CLASSY , it felt like the air was screaming Elegance. To Admit I have never felt so out of place in my whole life . With the classy Angolan Pop followed by the some serene Poetry from the Angolan poet Mendez.
The Exhibition was in commemoration to the father of Angola , Agostinnho Neto . The man celebrated was the father of the Angolan Independence. Their father of freedom from Bondage.
António Agostinho Neto served as the first President of Angola, having led the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola in the war for independence. Until his death, he led the MPLA in the civil war.
In respect to the Traditions of the Angolan people, an Angolan art painter Julius Mushambadope was present and with a set of paintings that went well with the theme. When asked what when we asked him to explain the theme of his paintings here is what he had to say.
“My set of paintings are themed on pain. The pain suffered by my people during the oppression, and the pain as seen through our founding Father’s eyes. How I come to paint a picture so beautiful you ask?” as he points to a blue abstract with thorns painted to randomly placed body parts. He then moves to the Thorn statement/Monza wemashoko painting. ”The poetry of my people about the struggle of our country is a great teacher. I learn from that. Here I depict that even words simply uttered can cause a great deal of pain” in the painting are thorns coming out of the lips. It’s not the pain being spoken about from the lips but the words spoken themselves are thorny and hence cause pain”.
Q)How has the response to your art been, in Zimbabwe and abroad.?
The Event here has been a stepping stone for me I feel like a lot is still to come so I will not stop the work I am doing anytime soon.
Julius was then grabbed from us by a photographer from an Angolan paper.(so much for falling inline in Rome).However he does strike one as an honest fellow. Typical artist quiet and reserved and makes one ponder the provenance to the man and not the art itself.
I stopped to have a chat with the Portuguese embassy representative , His excellency Mr Ricardo Eduardo Vaz Pereira Pracana with but a simply Question to which he gave a heartwarming answer.
Q)What how do you think supporting African art can help your diplomatic mission to Africa
Our country Portugal has been in Africa for a long while. We have roots and history in Africa that run Deep. Our history with Africa has not always been Bright, but we can’t change the past and we can’t forget it either. We have to learn from It so that we move forward. We come here as friends of Africa now. We have trade and cultural exchange and our future as friends looks ever bright and we are here to embrace that .
The Upper Echelon of the party included His excellency Pedro Hendricks Vaal Neto Angolan Ambassador to Zimbabwe. Maria Eugene Neto ,president of the Fundacao Dr Antonio Agostinho Neto. Raphael Chikukwa Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.