Jesse Ncube, Chronicle Reporter
YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, was yesterday impressed by Nompilo Nkomo a 39-year-old disabled visual artiste who uses her feet to paint and sculpt.
Coventry was visiting koMpisi Homestead in Victoria Falls, where Nkomo practises her art, as part of her visit to various arts centres there. She was in the resort town for the sixth Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) which ended yesterday.
Nkomo who was once a resident artiste at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and has been doing fine art for the past 18 years, charmed the Minister when she showed her paintings and sculptures done using her feet which she displayed in her room.
Coventry said she was impressed by Nkomo’s works after she demonstrated her incredible skills by writing the Minister’s name on a piece of paper using her feet. Nkomo also does basic things such as recharging her cellphone and typing text messages using her feet.
Coventry said the woman’s work was amazing and she will make efforts to support her financially and also link her with the Tourism Ministry so that she can get people to visit her and get returns from her paintings.
“She is a great and incredible woman who has gone through a lot and she has a good sense of humour. She said the reason why she is doing art is because most people think art is only for men and she is challenging them and representing female artists.
“She is an inspiration to how I’d I like to see the world like in terms of equity and equality in arts. I have a piece of arts that I am taking with me and will display in my office, and when people visit Victoria Falls, they’ll come and see her works and raise the profile of this community,” said the Minister.
She also said there are so many talented people in Zimbabwe and her ministry will make efforts to find these local people and expose them so that their works can be seen.
The homestead head Mr Melusi Mpisi Ndlovu said Nkomo, born in Esigodini, started doing fine art at an early age. He brought her to Victoria Falls after realising her potential.
He also said that he sent her to Mzilikazi Arts Centre where she learnt most of the things in art.
Ndlovu thanked the Minister for her visit to the homestead saying it meant a lot to them as it will bring exposure to Nkomo’s works.
“We would like to thank the Minister. Her visit means a lot to us as she has promised to support Nompilo in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism who will get people to visit her and see her paintings,” he said. – @Zikhali_jay