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Byo Gallery in need of USD$40K to renovate iconic building

The Bulawayo art gallery is looking for USD$40 000 to renovate its dilapidated building.

The NGZ Director Butholezwe Kgosi Nyathi told CITE in an interview that the 125-year-old iconic building was now in need of rehabilitation.

“Since 1894 the building has been in existence so they are natural decays and we have reached that stage that we now need to intervene strongly and structurally,” said Nyathi.

Nyathi said the building will have to undergo six phases of renovations with the first two being the most important.

“For phase one we need to respond urgently to the leaking roof and for that we have specific elements we need which people can donate specifically or cumulatively US$ 6 000 through cash donations via our EcoCash platform, FCA account or the bank,” said Nyathi.

Materials needed for the first phase which can be donated by the general public are IBR Zinc sheets, IBR roofing nails, pelains, timber rafters and fashier bolts.

“Phase two addresses the ceiling which will cost US$13 000 to address all the ceiling damage across the whole building and when the roof and ceiling are done, we can progress to phase three,” said Nyathi.

For phase two materials required are rhinos spot ceiling, cornice, cover strips, ceiling paints, fiber tape, rhino bond, cover bond, drywall screws and timber rafters.

Phase three involves the painting of the whole gallery both the interior and exterior.

“We want it to retain its attractive look and for that we need $US5 000  to paint all the spaces in the gallery, so for us priority phases are phase one and two and then we can look beautiful after all the fundamentals have been done which is the roof and the ceiling,” said the Director.

Phase four requires refurbishing the car park.

“Phase four is to venture to the car park and replace the rotten zinc roofing and that one is one of the cheapest interventions which is $US 1 900 to replace the car roof zinc roofing,” added the Director.

The last phases of the project involve rewiring the whole gallery and having new electricity wires and the construction of a wheelchair ramp.

“The last phases I have grouped them from five and six which talk to the replacing the electricity wiring this is an 1894 building you can imagine the wiring that was used it is very old we have reached a phase where we need to replace it so that we keep the space secure and for that we need $US2 000,” said Nyathi.

“The $US2 000 is also for setting up the wheelchair ramp because we want to allow the disabled members of our community to access the space easily like everyone else and also replace the skylight roof at our reception.”

Nyathi said the gallery has embarked on a number of fundraising projects to raise the funds.

“On October 4, 2019, we launched a fundraising drive to facilitate renovations towards the Doslin House which is the building that houses the NGZ in Bulawayo,” he said.

“We saw it fit to launch the fundraising drive through a concert in partnership with Busi Ncube the daughter of Bulawayo based in Norway, she donated a performance and the turnout was very pleasing,”.

The gallery managed to get ZWL$7 000 on the night.

“We celebrate that we have started a journey we are keen to walk with Bulawayo people and beyond.”

The Director also revealed that they are working on setting up Go Fund online fundraising platform to rope in people in the diaspora with the assistance of Busi Ncube.

“We need to up the game in terms of the value of the donations that we get particularly so before the onset of the rainy season,” said Nyathi.

“Busi Ncube once she returns to Norway  will help us set up a go fund me campaign where we hope to tap into donations from our diaspora communities  from the sons and daughters of Zimbabwe scattered across the world we are giving them that chance to donate to the renovations through the go fund me campaign which we hope will be running by the end of October.”

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