Over Easter, my son Christiaan and I were travelling in Zimbabwe (where I was born and grew up) on an international youth tour made possible by Ruth Pasi Foundation and World Remit. While in Ruwa, east of Harare, I conducted and sponsored a very successful mosaic workshop.
200 women registered for this event but Ruth and I could only accommodate 20. These women from Dotito, who reside in huts without running, potable water, no electricity and mostly live off food that they grow themselves sang us into the workshop when we spoke about it under the community meeting tree on the side of the road to Dotito. I understood their words of Shona: “Tatenda mawuya” (thank you for coming) in the welcome song, recalling them from my childhood in Kwe Kwe… so at the end of our workshop on Easter Sunday I sang the song back to them and everyone laughed.. and then joined in !
We all sang and danced and clapped around the Easter Mosaic Cross we had made together in an explosion of joy, recognition and friendship. This is the most unusual mosaic workshop I have experienced to date! I went back home for the first time in 25 years to show my son where I grew up; to contribute something positive to Zimbabwe by sharing my creativity. But, in the end, it was me who was truly blessed by the people I met there.
Everybody loved the mosaic process; were excited, inspired by and proud of the artworks they made. Leaders of the area have invited Susie’s Studio back to create more mosaics with rural communities in Mashonaland next year- including a new Dotito Welcome sign and planning a future mosaic garden for Dotito.
Contributed by Susanna Mills