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“At 23:56 on 23rd October 1963, Zambians rose in reverence of the Union Jack, the de facto national flag of the United Kingdom, for the last time as it lowered, signifying the end of British rule in Zambia.”

― Precious Mwansa-Chisa

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“My passion is being able to find homes/ buyers for different pieces of Art work while striving provide a sustainable income to Artists.”

Situated at Garden City mall on great east road, the Zambia Ultra Art gallery opened its doors in October 2017, under the proprietorship of Tibeka Mukutu and Joseph Chinunga to showcases an exquisite collection of art works made from different media like wood, scrap metal, stone as well as paintings.

Both artists in their respective rights, they opened the gallery with a vision to “see a Zambia, the Southern Africa Sub-Region and Africa where Artists determine their own economic growth utilizing sustainable natural or recyclable resources to maintain gainful employment, sustainable income, shelter and good health.”

We sat down with Ms Mukutu to find a little more about her and her work,

Nkwazi: How would you describe your job to a child?

“I don’t have a job, I have a passion. My passion is being able to find homes/ buyers for different pieces of Art work while striving provide a sustainable income to Artists.”

We aim to provide a marketing platform both within and outside Zambia for the improvement of the quality of life of the Artists.

The artists come from different parts of the country including Mufulira, Kasama and Lusaka. We started with only 18 artists when we first opened and the numbers have steadily grown to 31 artists. Most artists are self-taught and do this for the love of the craft eve n if there is no monetary gain from it. So we saw this gallery as an opportunity to help them market their work.

All artists exhibiting in the gallery need to be registered with the visual arts council.

Nkwazi: What do you love the most about Zambian art?

I love that Zambian Art is unique, undiscovered and unadulterated.

It is our aim to highlight the talent of Zambian artist and bring it closer to the people. We want to bring a culture of the love of art and to bring a feeling of associating with something Zambian. We also hope it inspires others to pursue art as a career.

Nkwazi: What do you think makes it unique?

Every country has its own norms, beliefs, culture & people, this becomes an Artists food, which he or she digests and the result is the creativity you see in our space.

Nkwazi: If you were an animated character, who would you be and why?

As a little girl I watched a cartoon called Shera, she was a regular girl that during a difficult situation would pull out a magic sword & do amazing things. I admire women that take on challenges, with or without a sword.

Nkwazi: What’s a typical day like for you?

Prayer/Exercise/Healthy Breakfast/Check my schedule/ Action my schedule. Most days are filled with meetings. We aim to partner or link up with organizations, which have similar aims and objectives.

Our gallery is a labour of love and is self funded. We are very fortunate to have the support of Garden city mall that gave us the space pro bono as a sign of good faith to show support for our work. Most art work you see around the mall was actually bought from us. We also have an exhibition space at Food Lover’s Market, East Park Mall.

We highly appreciate that and are open to more like gestures and partnerships.

We also have another initiative where art works can be rented out to offices and homes, it helps to keep things interesting.

Nkwazi: Describe your life using film titles

Eat Pray Love, Black Panther, Me Before you

Nkwazi: When it comes to making tea, which one applies to you most?

  1. a) I am the patron saint of tea, tea for everyone.
  2. b) I’m not a one man Starbucks. Every man for himself.
  3. c) I’ve only got two hands- so first come, first served.

Definitely, I am the patron saint of tea!

To see more art, head down to Garden city mall, just off Great East Road at the airport roundabout. gallery is open to the public at no charge at all.

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