Back to Index
Anne Derges blooms under the African sunshine
This work is
licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.
September after winter, the city of Harare in Zimbabwe is painted
purple by the beautiful bloom of hundreds of jacaranda trees. For
some people, it is exam time and for others, it is time to bask
in the sun and enjoy the African sunshine.
This is the
same African sunshine that welcomed Anne Derges in Nairobi, Kenya
in 1975 when she was a VSO Volunteer at Mombasa Polytechnic and
Shanzu Teachers College. In 1979 Anne moved on to Maputo where she
worked as a librarian at the Ministry of Education and Culture setting
up the library systems and training staff. She returned to London
It was in 1985
that Anne came to Zimbabwe. She fell in love with the country and
decided to settle here. She first worked for the National Archives
of Zimbabwe where she was responsible for the administration of
the audiovisual collections at the archives.
Today Anne is
a senior documentionalist at the Southern African Political and
Economic Series (SAPES) Trust in Harare. Anne holds a BA Honours
degree in Librarianship from Leeds Polytechnic School of Librarianship
in the United Kingdom.
also has extensive experience in editing, writing and copy-editing.
She was the editor of the second edition of "The Land Question
in Zimbabwe," by Sam Moyo (2001).
has spent most of her time working in documentation, Anne says if
she could control her destiny, she would quit her job and become
a full time artist.
Anne is one
of the many artists in Zimbabwe who feel survival as an artist a
mirage. Working as a full time artist has become increasingly tough
for artists partly because of Zimbabwe’s economic downturn.
But Anne feels
that artists should not lose hope and should look for innovative
ways to market their work, including using the Internet. She is
one of the featured artists on the African Colours website www.africancolours.net
that helps promote African artists to the rest of the world.
not in a library Anne is at home painting abstracts. Although she
mainly chooses to paint landscapes, she was recently inspired to
create around Operation Murambatsvina, an exercise by the Zimbabwe
Government which saw thousands of Zimbabweans evicted from their
On asked if
she could speak Swahili from having spent some time in Kenya, she
said, "every time I try to speak Swahili, I end up speaking
Shona". Shona is one of the local languages spoken in Zimbabwe.
Anne loves speaking Shona and she says knowing the language has
helped her to communicate with the community. Anne jokes that she
now knows whenever people are joking about white people, because
some black people still think that white people cannot speak the
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.