Home » Industry » MMCZ – a Cause for Great Ululation

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe is an organisation with a duty to control, regulate and promote the sale and export of minerals on the global market and with special attention to transparency and accountability of the minerals trade within and outside Zimbabwe. In all its functions the MMCZ oversees that the mining industry and the trade of minerals are carried out in a fair and ethical manner and will protect the economic interests of the Republic and the unborn generations.

In being a defender and arbitrator of issues pertaining to the mining of minerals and their exchange thereafter, one might find the organisation’s intervention in acquiring sculptures from the then liquidated Chapungu Sculpture Garden for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as a mismatched endeavour at face value, however, it ultimately proves the MMCZ’s thriving for accountability and yearning for justice in all matters related to anything extracted from Zimbabwean soil.

Flashback to 2013, the Chapungu Sculpture Park was in an albatross and their only option to float was to sell off works from the gallery in order to quell the severe effects of the economic troubles faced in the preceding decade. SEventy-two works were on offer to buyers and collectors from all over the world.

This information received the attention of the local art world and, soon, collectors from all over the world had picked up on the news had flown in to purchase these works of art.

With engrossing works from Matemera, Akuda, Mukomberanwa and many others the work on sale presented the potential buyer with some of the most relevant works which detailed the stone sculpture movement in Zimbabwe. Here the National Gallery of Zimbabwe found the situation to be a life and death issue for national heritage as the hovering threat of foreign buyers standing to gain from an unfortunate situation befalling a partner gallery. The objective for the National Gallery was to acquire the collection on offer.

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe now had to source enough funds to acquire the collection, which was an equally daunting task for it being a non-profit-making organisation. Naturally appeals had to be made to Government and the corporate world in order to expand on what was at risk if the work was to be sold.

After a long and tiring process of appealing for the funds required to secure the work, help came in the form of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe who fully understood the weight of the situation.

With the intention to protect the interests of future generations by preserving Zimbabwean sculpture a legendary art medium which is even evident in the emblem that this nation holds dear, the collection was destined to stay in the hands and the hearts of all Zimbabweans. With the exception of two sculptures that were acquired through the help of the National Gallery’s Friends of the Gallery, 70 artworks in total were acquired for the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and in a celebratory exhibition entitled “Rescued”, the works were viewed by a large audience at their new home. The collection of sculptures was eventually named after the acquirer and is on display at the fore and the rear of the Gallery building.

As one observes children running around Royal Katiyo’s Hen and Chicks in the National Gallery’s Sculpture Garden the thought of children in a foreign land enjoying the radiance of this sculpture brings a question to mind. How much of Zimbabwe’s cultural heritage is in the hands of foreigners and how many generations of their children are privileged to enjoy these objects at the expense of ours?

The Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe Collection is now an integral part of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe’s collected works and it holds a level of relevance that exudes patriotism, dedication and willpower which exists when a nation has to protect what belongs to them.

On Friday, December 19, 2014, the National Gallery of Zimbabwe will be proudly renaming the North Gallery to the Minerals and Mining Corporation of Zimbabwe Gallery for their contribution to visual arts and the preservation of cultural heritage in Zimbabwe through an exhibition of works from the MMCZ Collection entitled “Mhururu”.

Source : The Herald