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The global COVID-19 pandemic has affected many lives that were being sustained by the inflow of international tourists visiting Zimbabwe. One of the tourist havens of note in Zimbabwe is the Majestic Victoria Falls rain forest.
The Victoria Falls is one of the seven natural wonders of the world due to it being the largest sheet of falling water in the world.
The enormous waterfall spans 1688 meters wide (the entire width of the river) and plummets 108 meters over a basalt cliff to continue the Zambezi River below. It is situated along the Zambezi River National Park and shared between Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The entire city of Victoria Falls and most of Matabeleland North relies mainly on revenue generated through the tourism sector. At present, the Victoria Falls tourism industry is operating between 5% to 10% capacity making it unsustainable for most operators to remain functional. A lot of locals have lost their jobs in the formal sector and companies closed.
A lot more in the informal trade such as artists and arts vendors have lost their only source of income. The number of tourists visiting have plummeted since the onset of COVID19 in March 2020. This means people have not been selling anything and living below the poverty datum line for over a year now. By now many households have run out of savings.
There are no Emergency funds and initiatives supporting the cultural sector in Zimbabwe such as is being done in Europe and beyond.
We introduced this year a “Suggest Your Price” function to our shop in a bid to promote art trade during this global pandemic. Half a loaf is better than nothing. Art not only provides employment and income to a lot of vulnerable groups but the value of an artwork for a nation also represents the social and economic well being of a nation.
We will not want to attribute this increase in products available online purely to our improved performance alone but we would also like to acknowledge the truth. The truth is business is bad in Zimbabwe for many local artists. Art is not selling as fast as it used to.
Now is the time to invest in Zimbabwean art as it is at its all time historic lowest in terms of value. The prevalent socio-economic environment in Zimbabwe has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 global pandemic for the artists and participants in the tourism sector.
Please Visit our Online Shop and fill that void and add some light in your life whilst doing good.