The Sunday News
Robin Muchetu, Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa charmed guests during a tour of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe yesterday where he showed off his romantic side by purchasing pairs of earrings and some traditional beadwork for First Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa.
The First Family was rounding off its tour of the National Gallery when the regional director Mr Butholezwe Nyathi showed them the Sabona sales gallery where various artefacts from the Matabeleland region were on sale. Delegates were left in awe after the First Lady showed her interest at some earrings which the President gladly purchased for her, leaving her in smiles.
This gesture mesmerised all who were present, testimony to that fact that the President despite demanding Government commitments and engagements had a soft and romantic side which the people witnessed and applauded. He paid for the artefacts using his personal bank card in a gesture that he was also among thousands of locals who are embracing plastic money.
President Mnangagwa arrived at the National Gallery with the First Lady together with several Government ministers as well as senior Government officials. The President also purchased a painting by local artist Mr Davison V Mlotshwa named “the lion in the wilderness” which depicts two lionesses and one lion in between them in the wild. His purchases at the gallery also included maps of Zimbabwe from 1711 which he said he had never seen.
“There are various exhibits of the articles which we used in life as communities, very rich. I also found a 1711 map of this country, I bought two of those. I see that the Ministry of Finance wants us to pay to look at it (chuckles). I urge you to pass through that exhibition, it actually tells you who we are and how rich we are in terms of culture. I wasn’t aware about those things about us as a people,” he said.
Mr Mlotshwa, the artist, said he was honoured by the support from the President and First Lady. The President and Amai Mnangagwa were shown various paintings on display at the gallery depicting hope and love, among other things. They had the opportunity of appreciating local talent in the form of art and sculpture on display.
The tour came before the President officially launched the National Arts, Culture and Heritage policy document at a local hotel.
The policy serves to remind the present and future generations of the country’s values and aspirations and how to foster cohesion. The policy also recognises the country’s indigenous cultural diversity.