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Arts & Culture


November 7, 2022
Natsiraishe Maritsa

Last year, the story of Natsiraishe Maritsa, a young girl on a mission to rescue the vulnerable from early child marriages in Zimbabwe using Taekwando, one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills, gained global recognition. According to UNICEF, child marriage is on a steady decrease in Zimbabwe though this phenomenon is common in mining towns, farming towns, and border towns. Girls as young as 10 and below are pushed into marriage due to poverty or traditional practices though the law states that neither boys nor girls are allowed to legally marry until the age of 18.  Maritsa’s Taekwando class is made up of children from the age of four to teenagers that are now married. They regularly meet in her parents’ home, about 15 km away from the capital, Harare.

Maritsa says her taekwondo ground is a safe zone for the girls and after each training session, they talk about the dangers of child marriage where young wives share their experiences including verbal and physical abuse, marital rape, pregnancy-related health complications, and being hungry.  “Not many people do taekwondo here, so it’s fascinating for the girls, both married and single. I use it to get their attention. We are not ready for this thing called marriage, we are just too young for it. The role of teen mothers is usually ignored when people campaign against child marriages. Here, I use their voices, their challenges, to discourage those young girls not yet married to stay off early sexual activity and marriage,” says Maritsa.

Even though she has limited resources, 18-year-old Maritsa is committed to helping other girls through her initiative called Vulnerable Underaged People’s Auditorium which seeks to create awareness concerning the dangers of early marriage. She’s been awarded the IOC Woman and Sports Award for Africa.  “Taekwondo tenets empowered me to fight for child marriages and had positive results for people to who I impacted the Taekwondo tenets to. With Taekwondo, we are indeed champions of freedom, justice, and peace,” Natsiraishe Maritsa said.

Arts & Culture

The Digital Weaver: Alexis Tsegba Uses New Media To Change The Dark Narrative About Africa

September 20, 2022
Alexis Tsegba New Media

At a tender age, Alexis Tsegba taught herself how to draw, but it wasn’t until after she studied law at the University of Reading and completed her Masters in Creative and Media Enterprise from the University of Warwick that she realized her full potential in the artistic world. Now a visual artist, Alexis specializes in digital collages.  She has been experimenting with digital collages for almost two years. Alexis finds inspiration by observing. She is always looking for patterns in things, people, and emotions or wandering off to strange places on her own. Her greatest inspiration is going through life as herself, observing her emotions and those of others, and creating her own version of reality.

‘Divinity’ – Alexis Tsegba

The Nigerian-based artist is a person with eclectic interests in various art forms such as painting, photography and architecture, and digital collage, which is her ultimate medium to merge her interests in a way that allows her to tell stories and express herself without limitations. Her works often feature striking subjects in surrealistic landscapes. The artist enjoys telling stories and asking questions through her art in a way that is aesthetically pleasing and draws the viewer in to keep on looking. While utterly dreamy, many of her collages are packed with covert symbols designed to raise specific questions in the viewer’s minds and challenge traditional notions on specific themes such as Afrocentrism, Afro-futurism, love, and gender expression.

Alexis Tsegba believes Afrocentrism and Afro-futurism are unique because they contribute toward changing the narrative on Africa as a dark continent in need of saving. Afro-futurism also allows her to show what her ideal Africa could be; one where people are kinder and more tolerant of differences while relying on technology to enhance aspects of the culture that enrich us.