ean artist Josiah Bob Taundi grew up in the townships of
Murambatsvina is nicknamed the “Tsunami” by many Zimbabweans. It is estimated that around 700 000 people were left homeless and without sources of livelihood after Murambatsvina. Anna Tibaijuka, the UN Special Envoy, who came to investigate the effects of Murambatsvina reported that the Zimbabwean government had acted in an “indiscriminate and unjustified manner” with “indifference to human suffering.”
While the urban demolitions were in full swing across the country, Zimbabwean artist, Josiah Taundi could not help but see the agony and pain reflected in the eyes of those that had been affected by Murambatsvina. In an effort to depict their plight he began to vividly re-construct
In the black and white painting titled “Boys”, Taundi brings out the emotions of fear, anxiety and apprehensiveness on the faces of children who watch their homes being demolished.
“Thinking Hard” depicts a man sitting outside his home wondering whether the authorities will consider it legal or not, and whether it will survive Murambatsvina. The barefooted man sits holding his head in confusion wondering who might have angered God to this extent that people were being made homeless.
“Day of Reckoning depicts young entrepreneurs who have had their plumbing business destroyed. These “indigenous businessmen”, one wearing a Zanu (PF) t-shirt and the other an opposition MDC t-shirt walk together as they map out the way forward for the future. This painting shows that the demolitions did not only affect members of opposition political parties as some would like to believe. But that Murambatsvina also affected staunch supporters of the ruling party, who they had voted into office just a few months earlier.
Copyright rests with the author. No unauthorised use of these images. For further enquiries please consult the artist by writing to [email protected] – with acknowledgement to Kubatana.net
Post published in: Arts