Masimba Hwati - The Person

Art & Design | By Masimba Hwati, Fine Artist | 04 April 2013
PHOTO: © Baynham Goredema

In this first part of a series of interviews with Masimba, we speak and get to know the person behind the artist.

POVO: I am at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe where we will be hearing from Masimba Hwati talking about himself and his work. Hi Masimba, how are you doing?
Masimba: I am okay thank you very much.

POVO: Thanks for your time. Before we go into a lot I want to hear about your background, tell us about yourself

Masimba: I was born in the high density suburb of Highfield in Harare where I did my primary schooling. I then went to Mhondoro for my secondary school, after which i came back to Highfield for my ‘A' Levels. From there I enrolled at the Harare Polytechnic for my National Certificate in Applied Art and Design which was a completely different world for me since I had never studied art anywhere before.

POVO: Favorite movies? 

Masimba: Epics.

POVO: And what was the latest one you watched that you enjoyed?
Masimba: Ong Bak 2, by Tony Jah

POVO: Music? 

Masimba: Afrofusion, by the likes of Baba Maal, Youssou Ndour, Salif Keita, an upcoming Zimbabwean group called Mookumba and a lot of other guys from that sector.

POVO: Favorite visual artists? 

Masimba:  Berry Bickle, Tapfuma Gutsa and Chiko Chazunguza. I know that these might be a little bit out dated now, but there is something in their work that as a Zimbabwean I relate to, and I would like to jealously preserve for the next generation, and the wider global market

POVO: What do you mean by out dated? 

Masimba: The art world is a very dynamic and fast moving world so if you miss about a year of active involvement you become outdated, there are so many people who have come on the scene now, in Zimbabwe and also internationally, so the people I have been talking about have not been showing in Zimbabwe for quite some time.

POVO: Latest book you have read? 

Masimba: Mind Maps by Tony Buzan. It was a very interesting book based on a theory that people retain more information in images than in words, so this guy created what he called mind maps, where he arranges information in pictures. The author then takes you through step by step on how you can read a book in pictures, or retain information in pictures, and you can never forget that information for the rest of your life.

POVO: Describe your average day.
Masimba: I wake up at about 5am to pray and read my Bible, have breakfast sometimes, usually I am at the Poly, if I am not teaching the students then I am doing my own work, or some kind of research or I am on the internet, then my day finishes at around 8pm, I mean my active day, that is when I stop doing other things then I go home watch TV and relax, call some friends or meet people.

POVO: What do you do for recreation? 

Masimba: I love travelling a lot, chatting and relaxing with friends over braais and reading sometimes.

POVO: Describe Masimba in a word.

Masimba: Progressive. Masimba is a progressive individual. The Masimba that you saw last year is different from the Masimba you see this year.

POVO: Different from the one I saw on Saturday as well! 

Masimba: Yeah (Both Laugh!) As you can see things are changing!