Long-serving National Gallery of Zimbabwe (NGZ) in Bulawayo regional director, Voti Thebe, has retired after more than four decades at the institution.
Thebe (65) was the Exhibition Officer at the gallery; before he was promoted to the post of Regional Director in 2010, a post he held until his retirement.
“I was part of the furniture here and I have spent 43 years in the gallery being there for the people and the artists. I did not accomplish anything as I was at the gallery for artists,” he said.
“The transition from the minority group to the majority as Zimbabweans access the gallery shows how the gallery has transitioned.”
NGZ Executive Director Doreen Sibanda expressed gratitude to Thebe for the hard work he exhibited during his tenure at the helm of the art institution.
“The Executive Director, Board of Trustees and staff of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe take this opportunity to thank Mr Thebe for all the hard work, wisdom and smiles over the course of his career,” said Sibanda.
She said Thebe achieved a lot over the years and exhibited great work in metal sculpture and print works.
“He trained at the Mzilikazi Art and Craft Centre in Bulawayo and has over the years exhibited works in a wide array of media including metal sculpture and print works,” said Sibanda.
“He was part of the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 and he is a recipient of the President’s award of honour for his contribution to Visual Art in Zimbabwe.”
In 2010, Thebe was arrested together with visual artist Owen Maseko for displaying Maseko`s Gukurahundi inspired paintings without clearance from the Censorship and Entertainment Board.
The exhibition titled Sibathontisele (Lets Drip on them) was banned and a portion of the art gallery was cordoned off before the exhibition was pulled down in 2015 following a Supreme Court order.