Zimbabwean Cultural Centre of Detroit (ZCCD) has been founded for and by artists living in Zimbabwe and outside its borders. The organization serves to dismantle naturally occurring as well as constructed boundaries, both physical and otherwise with a view to promote community with the global and local in mind. It initially began working out of two domestic spaces that we have re-imaged as cultural consulates, one situated in Detroit, U.S.A. and the other is in Harare, Zimbabwe. Recognizing our role as cultural ambassadors we endeavor to foster a culture of research, dialogue, and production across geographic boundaries of Detroit, Michigan and Zimbabwe. We acknowledge the current situation of economic crisis and a range of social issues that individuals in both these spaces grapple with. Our goal is to encourage strong ties between culture producers and residents in both Zimbabwe and Detroit acting as catalysts for critical artistic production as well as cultural exchange between these two diverse communities.
Presently the house in Detroit acts as an archive for the exchange. In the spirit of interaction and collaboration, ZCCD exists through its partnership with several cultural centres both in Detroit and in Zimbabwe. The residency exchange is a partnership with the Knights Foundation, Njelele Art Station in Harare and Popps Packing in Detroit.
Kumbulani Zamuchiuya and Chido Johnson at the house in Warreen Park, Harare, Zimbabwe which performed as tge porthole to the house in Detroit.
....its started with Jack’s Vision
Kumbulani Zamuchiya had assisted Chido Johnson in 2011 on a project in Mutare called “Jack’s Vision” that was a collaboration with Dr. Naomie Nyanhungo. Jack’s Vision was made possible through a fund raising campeign with the Power House Production and Team Detroit.
(LEFT to RIGHT) Kumbulani Zamuchiya, Elizabeth Muusha (Director of NGZ Mutare), Chido Johnson, and Dr Naomie Nyanhungo at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare planning out the filming of Jack’s Vision in 2011.
(LEFT to RIGHT) On site at Christmas Pass in Mutare with Dr. Naomie Nyanhungo, Subject one, and Kumbulani Zamuchiya behind the camera. Image by Chido Johnson, 2011.
(Above) Chido Johnson and Dr Naomie Nyanhungo preparing for an audnience at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Mutare and (below) preparing for an audience at the Power House Productions in Detroit.
In 2013 Chido Johnosn bought a house in the neighborhood of the Power House Productions. It became the Detroit porthole to Zimbabwe as the Zimbabwe Cultural Centre of Detroit.
(LEFT) 3341 Cody Street the first home of ZCCD when first purchases in 2013 as the porthole to Zimbabwe
(RIGHT) A gathering at ZCCD in the summer of 2019
Kumbulani Zamuchiya painting the interior of the house in Warren Park, Harare (Zimbabwe) to mirror the green interior of the house in Detroit. The green became a symbol of nationalism, land, and a “greenspace” as a virtual porthole.
Monica Blaire in the Detroit home beig filmed against the green wall for a call + response project.
IN 2013, Kumbulani Zamuchya and Chido Johnson fomulated Zimbabwe Culrtural Centre of Detroit together with Nonsikelelo Mutiti who at the time was a guest of Chido’s in Detroit. This began with the first curated dual exhibit at Public Pool in Hamtramck (USA) and Delta Gallery in Harare (Zimbabwe) with artists from both spaces collaborating titled Kumusha.
(LEFT) Chido Johnson and Nontsikelelo Mutiti (RIGHT) Michael Mangenje with Kumbulani Zamuchiya
Then after several years of functioning as dual consulates and all thise who helped organize any activities where labelled as ZCCD agents with Kumbulani in Harare and Chido in Detroit acting as Directors. Then eventually in 2017 ZCCD had its offcial board members. The board was made up with representatives both in Detroit and Harare.
(ABOVE) Sharon Sevenzo (pictured with Halima Cassells in North End Detroit community) became the first Chairperson for the first fomulated ZCCD Board. Other board members pictured below (BOTTOM LEFT) (Left to Right starting from second to left) Masimba Hwati, Rudlof Matsika (Vice Chair), Jessica Allie, Chido Johnson (Director), Nhamo Mumbiro (Treasurer), and Kumbulani Zamuchiya in Harare. The image was taken after a celebratory dinner among the board members in Detroit with Ronald Ndanga who helped with the Makoomba Residency. (BOTTOM RIGHT) Sheila Nyandebvu (ZCCD Board) with guest Jide Aje.
2017-2019 ZCCD BOARD MEMBERS
Chair : Sharon Sevenzo
Vice Chair: Rudlof Matsika
Treasure: Nhamo Mumbiro
Board Members: Masimba Hwati, Sheila Nyandebvu, Jessica Allie, Kumbulani Zamuchiya (Honorary)
Director: Chido Johnson
Building on Conant Ave in the east side of Detroit that we are looking at transfroming into the new home for ZCCD. It will be called Sadza Space.
The initiative began with Rudo Matsika and Chido Johnson first looking in the neighborhood in 2018 then eventually looking with the city for available spaces. The intention was to move ZCCD from a private home to a public space. In 2020 a new Board was built for this initiative to drive our fundraising efforts. The new board are
Chair: Nhamo Mumbiro
Vice Chair: Kuda Walker
Treasurer: Farai Rukunda
Director: Chido Johnson
Kuda Walker (center with her spouse on the left) and Farai Rukunda with the blue shirt with his spouse, Rutendo on the right. Summer 2020
These efforts working with the city is through teaming up with Carper Deevelopemnt run by Gina Reihcrt and Alissa Shelton.