Art thrives in prison

Rebecca Kabaya Arts Reporter
ART is thriving behind the walls of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison where inmates have been exhibiting their talents in various disciplines that range from music, fine and abstract art.

Inmates at on of the country’s correctional facilities last week spoke of how art was growing behind the prison walls.

Dunken Lipepe (43), who was convicted of fraud in 2012, said he discovered that he can paint and draw while in prison.

He has since done drawings of the late music legend Oliver Mtukudzi, among others, saying it helps him cast away his mind from prison life.

“I realised my hidden talent a year ago after l was jailed for 15 years for fraud. It started as a way to help me reduce stress and thinking about my family. This is why you see that some of my art is about my two wives at home and the other art l did on Mtukudzi soon after his death.

“When l heard about his death l wished God had taken me first in place of Tuku. I was saddened by his death; he was my hero. I loved his music and to show my pain l did an art of him so that l will always remember him,” he said.

Charles Chikuni (40) fashions soccer shoes out of sacks.

Chikuni said he loves soccer and is the coach for one of the teams in prison.

“Prisoners are the most less-privileged because most of our relatives have turned their backs on us, hence, we struggle to get necessities like pants, shoes and soap.

“In prison we play soccer dubbed ‘five-aside’ to entertain ourselves. I then discovered that most of us don’t have shoes to put on; that’s when l decided to make shoes out of sacks.

“I have learnt life the hard way in this jail, and l have vowed to use my hands and stay away from crime, because it does not pay. I have been in prison for 18 years now. Though I’m left with a few years on my prison term, it has  not been easy,” he said.


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