On April 19, 2014, African Sculptures, a Czech company, opened a Zimbabwe-themed exhibition in the ZOO Dvur Králové in the Bohemia region, some 140 km north-east of Prague. Dr. Marie Imbrova, who drew attention of Steppes in Sync to this event, took part in the launch that also saw the opening of a new gallery called Tengenenge.
The Czech gallery is named after a sculpture artist community in the Northern Zimbabwe. Many famous artists have worked in the Southern African art village since its foundation in the 1960s. UK’s Prince Charles and late US pop star, Michael Jackson, are mentioned among some of the most famous Shona sculpture collectors.
Other famous Zimbabwe sculpture communities were located at Cyrene Mission near Great Zimbabwe and later at Chapungu Village in the suburbs east of Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital. Some sculpture artists’ activities were supported by the UN Development Program.
For the next three months, more than 180 pieces from Tengenenge will be exhibited in the different parts of ZOO. Zimbabwe’s award-winning performing arts school for youths, IYASA, from Bulawayo was performing at the exhibition launch.
The former Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Zimbabwe, Dr Imbrova is the founding member and the Chairwoman of the Tengenenge Friends Club in the Czech Republic. She works on various projects with Czech TV and radio stations and consults on politics, education and culture of Sub-Saharan African nations. Among her numerous cultural diplomacy activities both in her native Czech Republic and abroad, Dr Imbrova helps HE Trudy Stevenson, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to Senegal and The Gambia to promote Zimbabwean culture in West Africa.