Zimbabwe: Framed Fame

Not only was I almost arrested when I went to Harare, Zimbabwe for taking pictures of downtown, but apparently pictures were being taken of me as I was breaking cultural barriers.

That's me, sitting with Caroline Dewa and her daughter. We are watching a Shona bira group at the Harare International Festival of the Arts this past April. But where is this print from? It is hanging in Zimbabwe's National Gallery of Art in the center of the capital, Harare. The caption cracks me up: "Social Mwadzinga - Family." Did I not tell you about my new family in Zim?

It is funny that the photographer thought we were together, because this was a date we were set up on by some guy I met on public minibus. As Caroline was on her way that morning, she asked if she could bring her daughter. Now our date has been immortalized as an example of cross-cultural and interracial unity in a country that still holds division as sacred. Carolina was really great, but I wasn't ready for a long distance relationship in Zim.

I was surprised with this photo's existence last month. I would have never known about it, let alone that it was in an art gallery for the past three months, if my friend Bente hadn't stumbled across it. Somehow Bente, whom I travelled with around ZA (pics of our trip to the Drakensberg to come), happened to be on a road trip to Zambia and back, then happened to go into this gallery in Harare, see this picture and think, that man looks familiar, to lastly send it to my inbox.

Kismet. (#MelissaMathias)


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