Fife Street back on the map

Fife Street has once again been established as the epicentre of creative expression, with artists vying for space on the pavement to set up their stalls, selling everything from wooden sculptures to embroidered cloth.

Jane Mavesera selling curios on a bustling Fife Street.
Jane Mavesera selling curios on a bustling Fife Street.

Despite the government’s best efforts to ‘clean up’ the city in 2005 by chasing the vendors away, the street has returned to its former glory and tourists regularly peruse the stalls for curios.

One of the most popular sculptors, Denford Ndlovu, has an eye-catching display of carvings for sale. He works with opal, cobalt and spring stone, and his creations sell like hot cakes.

“My clients are mostly foreign tourists who buy my sculptures for gifts and souvenirs for friends back home. I sell my sculptures for $50 each and in the holidays I can sell up to 10 sculptures per day. During trade fairs, I also sell a lot of my items,” said Ndlovu. Ndlovu explained that he uses his work to communicate a message related to current events. One carving depicts the late Muammar Gaddafi, another shows a fish hugging an elephant which is meant to stand for unity between political parties in Zimbabwe.

“This product is relevant to the current peaceinitiatives being made by our leaders to unite the people,” he said. Another artist, Jane Mavesera, who sells beautifully embroidered cloth, said that the location of the outdoor market made it ideal for attracting foreign visitors.

“We pay a monthly fee to the council for operating at this place. It is very strategically positioned. All foreign and local visitors who want to buy gifts and souvenirs pass through here,” she said.

Post published in: News

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