Tashia Patsika had given up on love after another relationship failed. She was what people called unlucky in love and lucky in life. Her romantic relationships failed spectacularly and she could never figure it out because she was an amazing girl. After finishing her degree in Arts and Design at the University of Zimbabwe, she discovered she had an affinity for recognizing talent rather than creating her own. She also found that art was solely underappreciated in the country. Giving up on love, she turned all her energy on her career. With the help of her parents and some sponsors, she opened a small gallery in uptown Harare where she showcased local upcoming artists. Her gallery received huge acclaim because a lot of artists needed the exposure.
Today, she was preparing for an event tonight and was walking around the gallery checking the paintings and sculptures the gallery would be showing. She was staring at one particular painting when her assistant and friend, Panashe found her. “Everything alright?” she asked Panashe quickly. “Relax, Tashy everyone will love what you’ve done here. I just came over to say you must really like this artist. You always stand longer at his paintings,” Panashe said smiling at her friend. Tashia pondered on it. It was true, the paintings by T. Matope always called to her. The artist painted love scenes, always set in pre-colonial settings. In this painting the man was wearing nhembeshure animal skin covering only the vital front parts and back and holding a huge spear while his woman wore the animal leathers with intricate beadwork on her head. She stood in front of the man with arms outstretched as if she were the warrior protecting her lover. Tashia sighed at how alive and compelling the painting was.
“He paints love so beautifully, I bet he loves beautifully too,” she said. Before Panashe could reply a new male voice said, “You like it then?” the girls turned to find a fairly tall, smiling young man at their back, also perusing the painting. “I thought you city girls preferred cafes to the wild beauty of Africa.” Tashia found herself smiling openly at him.
“I love the raw passion in this artist’s paintings. Everything is so intense, the love primal and almost dangerous. You don’t find that in cafes.”
“Love is supposed to be primal.” His deep brown eyes stayed glued to Tashia’s. Panashe coughed uncomfortably and mumbled some excuse then quickly made her exit. Tashia turned back to the painting, heart racing. This stranger and his words were having the weirdest effect on her. “I’m sorry; my friend thinks I have a crush on this artist,” she said feeling self conscious.
“Maybe. His brushstrokes definitely have me thinking if love like that exists, I might give it a chance again.”
“I’m glad my work has that effect on you.”
“Oh my God, you’re Tapiwa. Your agent said you’d come later in the day.”
He smiled widely, she blushed wildly.
Kimberly Chirodzero studied Sociology and Gender Development Studies at Women’s University in Africa. She lives in Harare, Zimbabwe. Kimberly is a poet, counsellor, writer and social activist. She enjoys reading, writing and travelling. Her dreams include seeing her work published and inspiring others. She is dedicated to positively impacting the world with her gifts and giving back to her community. She blogs at www.the-purposed-crown.slipsidedesigns.co.za