Zimbabweans are slowly starting to emerge from their homes and return to work in spite of the increase in number of confirmed Covid-19 cases.
Social distancing has gone out of the window for many commuters as they board buses and other forms of public transport to commute to and from work every day.
Many other citizens lament the increasing traffic in the Central Business District of the capital, as well as the growing presence of police roadblocks into and around the CBD of Harare although these are meant to monitor traffic and ensure commuters are taking the necessary protective steps for their safety and that of all of us.
Two Harare-based graphic designers Marcus Zvinavashe and Nyasha Jeche have taken their skills and crafts to the streets of the high-density suburbs of the nation, reminding citizens to continue safeguarding their health and safety in the face of the pandemic.
They are doing this with a series of murals they are creating at sites around the country’s major cities.
The two designers-cum-entrepreneurs started their own media agency “Caligraph” in 2017 and have created several designs, murals and illustrations around the country.
One at the Theatre in the Park in Harare celebrates some of the nation’s most famous performers and artists, like Chiwoniso Maraire, Walter Muparutsa while one in honour of the late great musical icon, Oliver Mutukudzi is in Highfield, Harare, and was undertaken after his death in January last year (2019).
Some of their creative work is featured at Mbare’s Stoddard Hall under “Let Love Lead”; in Bulawayo and Glen View 3 under “Yeke-Yeke Maya!” which features HIV-AIDS campaign material, and a little while back, a mural campaign exhorting the national soccer team, the Warriors.
The pair recently partnered with Nash Paints and Baobab Media in a project to encourage citizens to continue practising good hygiene and care during this lockdown period.
Zvinavashe and Jeche chose five locally celebrated individuals within the community not just to catch the eye and attention of the commuters, but to remind and re-enforce the urgency and caution that residents and commuters in the high-density areas ought to exercise to flatten the curve and stay Covid-19-free.
So far, the two have completed two murals, the first being of Zimbabwean musician and star Jah Prayzah in Budiriro. The second is of national and South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs star midfielder Khama Billiat and is in Mufakose.
The next mural will find its home in the streets of Kambuzuma at the end of this month (June). The artist or individual to be featured in this next mural and the ones that follow are the subject of current consultations.
However, even without this knowledge, the public patiently awaits, while practising care and looking forward to the light the artists will bring during what was beginning to look like a dark, colder winter under the cloud of the Covid-19.