Female artist empowers disabled

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MIRANDA Mathe, 24, a resident artist at the National Arts Gallery in Bulawayo, is empowering young people living with disabilities through art.

The talented visual artist launched an organisation called Kopano Arts Centre, which is situated in the Central Business District of Zimbabwe’s second largest city, to create a platform to train young people living with disabilities earn a living through art.

 “I started in October last year and I have 10 students so far. Most of them are not employed but they are intelligent, so I thought of teaching them to be entrepreneurs and to be independent.

“They are educated but they are jobless because of the way they look physically. There are also some who are employed in different organisations but our mission is to teach them to make money using their hands,” Mathe told Daily News. She said Kopano Arts Centre focuses mainly on practical art works.

“What we teach them mainly is art. We have batik, craft, painting, mbira music, garment construction and building. We appreciate that not everyone is an artist but we look at each individual on what activities they are interested in then we take it from there. Our aim is to empower each of them,” Mathe said, adding that learners graduate after two years with diplomas in their field of specialisation.

Mathe further noted that they have been in talks with the gallery in Bulawayo to see if they can relocate from the Fidelity building to the gallery.

“We have been operating from Fidelity Building since we started but we now want to move to the Art Gallery, which I think is the best place for us.

“My wish is to make a difference and show the community that these people are equally capable of being entrepreneurs.

“I want them to shine, I want them to live a better life,” said Mathe.

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