Zimbabwe: Disability not inability

By Alan Rushesha – In most cases, physically challenged people are given names or demoted from participating in the social and economic activities due to stereotyped beliefs of a society.

A warthog created using empty beer cans

A warthog created using empty beer cans

Numerous people in society stand blamed of perceiving people with disability as outcasts who cannot do anything on their own and require special attention.

However, a physically challenged crafter Manners Mukuviri has a testament to tell the world that his state has nothing to do with his in-born talent.

Bravely, Mukuviri captures balance and movement both physically and emotionally while exhibiting brilliant ability to express emotions through form rather than facial appearance.

Manners Mukuwiri

Manners Mukuwiri

His personal life is mirrored in his continuing theme of animals and their daily activities.

“I like to portray my pieces using different animals because they have a way to express themselves and their ever-growing love unlike humans,” he said.

Some of his works on display at Chitungwiza Arts Centre include well-decorated zebras, ostriches, frogs, giraffes and key holders with national symbols such as the Zimbabwe bird as well the national monument, Great Zimbabwe.

Said Mukuviri: “I prefer to call my pieces recycled art because I mainly use empty cans such as beer and beef cans to come up with a living art. It is also environmental friendly unlike other intoxicants substances used in our industry.

His journey to success was not easy to come by since he believes that the society even overlooked his aptitude.

“Many people deject the works of the disabled people and even some thinks I am here to beg since I spend most of my entire life moving around in this wheelchair.

“This has caused countless of my potential customers to look down on my pieces but I should thank my family for inspiring me, they are the source of my strength,” he added.

For a number of people, these crafts will remind them of how important nature is to our daily chores.

Mukuviri was born on 30 October 1979 and attended Danhiko Vocational Centre where the journey of artistry begun. He even tried to do other things in life but realized that his heart and instincts belonged to the arts industry.

“I once became an electrician but I ended up channeling all my energy into the arts industry,” he said.

 Animals are touching images of his name, crafted with endless proficiency and conveying thoughts and understanding basic to humankind.