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Harare Painter Mavis Tauzeni's Reflections On Being A Woman In Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean artist Mavis Tauzeni's first solo exhibition is on view at First Floor Gallery Harare.

All images courtesy of First Floor Gallery Harare


Eve’s Diaries is the name of Zimbabwean artist Mavis Tauzeni’s first solo exhibition, now on view at First Floor Gallery Harare. Curated by Valerie Kabov, the show features paintings that use figure, form, and color to speak to the complexities and inner turmoil that go along with being a woman in contemporary Zimbabwe.

In ways that are both subtle and direct, Tauzeni's pieces seek to remind Zimbabwean women of their power. “Women in particular relate the physical with the spiritual and emotional in a uniquely powerful way being the givers of life and the nurturers of others," the artist says. Tauzeni invites the audience to consider how a Zimbabwean woman is meant to maneuver new expectations in the present world. According to her artist statement:

"How does she deal with the world, which says it is giving her power and knowledge, but not necessarily the space to exercise it, leaving the question as to what degree the world is prepared to give her that space. For socially, physically and culturally, without that space, a daughter of the new breed of Eve’s bound by traditional and social norms is bound to remain a butterfly in caterpillar state for too long. I ask then how am I going to be given the chance to bloom (the element of freedom) when I am always meant to stay closely tied in my bed."

Tauzeni’s strokes invite you in, yet their drips and abstractions create the kind of secrecy and eavesdropping that one might get from viewing someone else’s diary. Her dual use of words and figures reflects a tension that women face in having to subdue their minds because of the bodies they occupy. In her artist statement, Tauzen demands attention to her mind. “Give me an opportunity to have my voice be heard for once…and also listened to,” she says.

The exhibition's curator concludes, “While passionately expressive of her inner quest, Tauzeni facilities our own and for this we have to be grateful.”

Eve’s Diaries will be running from June 11 to July 30 at First Floor Gallery Harare in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Interview

Kofi Jamar Switches Lanes In 'Appetite for Destruction'

The Ghanaian rapper and "Ekorso" hitmaker presents a different sound in his latest EP.

The drill scene in Ghana has been making waves across the continent for some time now. If you're hip to what a crop of young and hungry artists from the city of Kumasi in Ghana and beyond have been doing over the past year, then you already know about rapper Kofi Jamar.

Towards the end of November last year he dropped one of the biggest drill songs to emerge from Ghana's buzzing drill scene, the popular street anthem "Ekorso." In the December and January that followed, "Ekorso" was the song on everyone's lips, the hip-hop song that took over the season, with even the likes of Wizkid spotted vibing to the tune.

Currently sitting at over 10 million streams across digital streaming platforms, the song topped charts, even breaking records in the process. "Ekorso" maintained the number one spot on Apple Music's Hip-Hop/Rap: Ghana chart for two months uninterrupted, a first in the history of the chart. It also had a good stint at number one of the Ghana Top 100 chart as well, among several other accolades.

Even though he's the creator of what could be the biggest song of Ghana's drill movement till date, Kofi Jamar doesn't plan on replicating his past music or his past moves. He has just issued his second EP, a 6-track project titled Appetite for Destruction, and it would surprise you to know that there isn't a single drill song on it. Although drill played a huge role in his meteoric rise, he wants to be known as way more than just a drill rapper. He wants to be known as a complete and versatile artist, unafraid to engage in any genre — and he even looks forward to creating his own genre of music during the course of his career.

We spoke to Kofi Jamar about his latest EP, and he tells us about working with Teni, why he's gravitating away from drill to a new sound, and more. Check out our conversation below.

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