LOCAL digital storyteller and founder of FotoKulture, a conceptual and portraiture art company Ernest Muvunzi says through his photographic skills he seeks to inspire and remind people living in the high-density suburbs (ghetto) that there is nothing shameful about their daily lifestyle.
BY KENNEDY NYAVAYA
High-density suburbs across the country have for long been branded havens of crime and drug abuse among other sorts of immoral activities.
In an interview with NewsDay Life & Style, Muvunzi said using one perspective to depict life in the high-density suburbs had tainted the beauty they convey.
“Photography can be used to dispel widespread and often baseless negative perceptions that ghettos are dingy, filled with decadence and retrogressive behaviour,” he said.
“My main wish is to inspire the ghetto demographic that there is nothing wrong or shameful about living in the ghetto and I want my work to show them how beautiful their life is so that no one should define the narrative better than them.”
The 25-year-old Dzivarasekwa-bred artist who is a product of the ghetto, said he was a self-taught photographer whose work was highly concept, portrait art-based and used grungy township motifs.
“In an attempt to reflect the beauty from what is generally viewed as unpleasant, my main drive is to rewrite the African narrative because those who have made it in life have made those who have not, most particularly in the ghetto, lose the belief in where they belong,” he said.
“Many people shy away from associating with the ghetto and always want to capture their moments only when they are miles from the dusty township surfaces.”
Muvunzi, who is also a professional graphic designer, said living his early life in the rural areas before coming to live in the ghetto exposed him to the dynamic nature of life.
“People, who do not come from where we come from think that because we are living in poverty and marginalised communities we are always sad and gloomy, but actually that is the opposite. That energy got me inspired and my work tries to portray the happy side of the ghetto,” he said.
Muvunzi worked with the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as creative designer in 2016 before doing photographic work for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and later joined the National Taskforce on Command Agriculture as their photographer and graphic designer.
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