Mthabisi Tshuma, Online Correspondent
On July 31, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi will step down as the regional director of the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo (NGZ).
Nyathi who took over from long-serving director Voti Thebe in May 2019, was given a befitting send-off through a farewell reception held last Friday at the gallery.
Among the notable contributions he brought to the art gallery was giving the building a facelift.
The walls, which, besides the cracks, looked thirsty for a coat of paint, have been brushed up into an immaculate state, restoring the dignity of the gallery.
Announcing his departure on Twitter on Tuesday, NGZ paid tribute to Nyathi for the contribution and expertise he brought to the art gallery.
“The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo wishes to advise the public that after two years at the helm, Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi will be stepping down from his position as regional director, effective 31 July 2021.
“As Nyathi’s tenure nears an end, gallery staff and friends of the Gallery wish him the best of luck in his next adventure. Under Nyathi’s leadership, great strides were made, most notably the extensive renovations of Douslin House, the home of the gallery,” said NGZ.
“The gallery now exudes an ambient outlook befitting of a contemporary cultural space. Another key highlight of Nyathi’s tenure was the introduction of the Resident Artist Development Programme, which saw resident artists benefiting from a range of capacity development workshops and regional cultural exchanges.
“Also worth mentioning was Nyathi’s introduction of digital art and virtual tours in the curatorial framework of the gallery, a bold step that has opened up the gallery to a broader international audience,” NGZ wrote.
In a recent interview with our sister newspaper Sunday News, Nyathi said it will always be an honour to have superintended over the art gallery in Bulawayo which is the biggest cultural institution in the region.
“To have had the honour to serve in the prime of my youth will always be something I’ll be proud of. I want to thank my staff because while people might want to acknowledge leadership, we work with and through our subordinates. So, for the vast work that we did over the last two years I want to thank my staff because we were working under very difficult conditions, economy-wise and Covid-19 wise. All the same, we managed to forge ahead and make a difference,” he was quoted saying.
He said he counts the renovations undertaken during his tenure as the highlight of his reign.
“It’s a short two years, but the amount of work done is notable in my opinion. It’s not about the time served. You don’t need to spend ten years in an institution to make a difference. Even in one year, you can do that and I’m happy to say that in the two years I was here I contributed to the institution to the best of my abilities.” — @mthabisi_mthire.