BCC removes controversial mural

Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has removed a controversial mural showing King Lobhengula Khumalo intimately holding spirit medium Nehanda Charwe Nyakasikana.

The mural which was painted on the wall of a public toilet next to the City Hall was accompanied with the inscription “Love is greater than Shona and Ndebele, Africans let’s unite”.

In his other hand, King Lobengula held a red balloon, one similar to that featured in the work of international artist Banksy’s girl with the balloon which has been interpreted by some as a symbol of hope and love.

The mural trended on social media over the weekend drawing mixed reactions. 

In some of the comments, social media users noted that the message was meaningful but had reservations on the manner in which King Lobengula and Mbuya Nehanda were portrayed. 

BCC employees removing the mural

BCC corporate communications officer Bongiwe Ngwenya told CITE that the council was not aware of who had put up the mural but explained that it was in violation of the city by-laws. 

“The Graffiti contravenes the Bulawayo (Protection of Lands and Natural Resources) by-laws, 1975, Part IV, Section 17. The City of Bulawayo was not consulted by anyone seeking to put it up, as it is we are not aware who is responsible,” Ngwenya said. 

“It may be a challenge to bring the offender/s to book like most graffiti crimes as the offence was probably committed at night. The City of Bulawayo will continue to conduct surveillance and carry out public awareness against such activities through our programmed environmental awareness programmes.”

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