Resilience and Innovation during the current Lockdown


Press Release

Dzimbanhete Arts and Culture Interactions Trust’s All Afrika Village has remained resilient under the current Covid-19 lockdown, while it has maintained the lockdown measures by downing “hard tools” and remaining closed to the public. The team,which successfully pulled down the curtains on its Sounds of the Sacred Web Festival which was funded by Culture at Work Africa a consortium that includes Culture Fund and co-funded by the European Union, towed from August 2019 to December 2020, breaking off to observe Covid 19 national restrictions now and again. Having constructed the Igbo compound of Nigeria, the Zezuru, Tonga, Ndebele, Ndau and Doma huts representing Zimbabwe, Tswana and Khoisan representing Botswana and Kavango hut representing Namibia, the team has moved quite a milestone regardless. The team is looking forward to have completed the construction of the SADC region before the end of the year.

Through their innovative skills the team will soon be launching an Online Library of Indigenous Afrikan Architecture, this has come out as a way maintaining continuity during the current travel bans. This library will help inform the All Afrika Village construction team, as they will be able to reference for accuracy during the construction of the remaining countries’ homesteads. It will also avail information on indigenous Afrikan architecture to diverse audiences worldwide. The library will not just consist of images of huts, but detailed information on materiality, construction methods and underlying aesthetics, knowledge systems and narratives on how the custodians respond to their architecture. For the formation of this library, we have created links, people and communities in other Afrikan countries, whom we are working with. So far we have linked up with people in more than 30 different African countries and are still waiting for confirmation from the remainder. These links will be working as our research coordinators, visiting and documenting information on the ground in their respective communities via video, photographs and written narratives. All collected data will then be availed on our online platforms.

We highly consider the accumulation of such information, which we believe is rarely found, be it in academia and also wherever it is found it is never in the voice of the cultural custodians and it is frivolously labeled. This library will be groundbreaking in the understanding and appreciation of indigenous African architecture. African architecture is in general eco-friendly, built with natural material, which in most cases is locally available, is viewed by many as an entity of the past, if not backward. Yet the information we have gathered so far proves how efficient these structures are in terms of energy circulation and preservation, acoustics and how in their simplistic appearances are by far more complex than one would think. Each structure’s respective details serve more than one purpose and the details have remained quite specific over centuries. The fractals seen on the ceilings, which are a new phenomenon in modern mathematics, have been a feature in most of these structures since time immemorial and to hear how the Karanga people relate components of these fractals to the woman and man’s ribs as the computable methodologies for construction, indeed opens up another window of understanding. This is some of the information and details that the library will be availing to the global public once the project is complete.





This is an initiative by Dzimbanhete Arts and Culture Interactions Trust, an art and culture hub located on Plot 1, Stonehurst farm in Harare, Zimbabwe.

About the Project:

All Afrika Village (AAV) is one of DACI’s projects, the first of its kind, a unique project aimed at presenting 54 African countries’ various indigenous architectural structures in one culturally rich place. Emphasis is on indigenous construction methods, architecture, design and the respective traditions as they have been passed on from generation to generation. Each model, with properties that are based on local narrations, needs and purpose; intricately entwined with the local culture, beliefs and traditions of each respective community.

During the residency, expert builders from the selected communities of the respective countries will be leading participants in architectural discourse, construction and narrations on accessories and overriding aspects of their village structures. It is a unique opportunity to explore, challenge and resuscitate the influences of indigenous architecture on contemporary and modern designs.

Residency slots:

Slots will be per specific country. Each slot will be three weeks long.

Currently the residency is developing two African villages, notably Zimbabwe and Nigeria. This is to rehabilitate festival space in Support of Sounds of the Sacred Web Festival (SoSaWeF) co-funded by the Culture at Work Africa and the European Union.

Participants are welcome to state their country of interest.

A nominal fee will be charged to cover residency costs.

Purpose: WHY?

  • To bring together local, international, diaspora, professionals from the built, design, interior design, architecture, anthropology, art and culture and related fields to share, discover and learn more about the African indigenous construction models as a source of inspiration.
  • To revive and share the skilled craftsmanship and knowledge found within African indigenous architecture.
  • To investigate the relevance of indigenous architectural styles in today’s society and identify opportunities for new design processes that are changeable and inventive.

This is a unique opportunity to immense one’s self in an experientially explorative environment of African indigenous architecture, related knowledge systems, construction methods and the cultural nuances that inform these “form and pattern languages”. Further the human value of indigenous architecture goes way beyond what is normal perceived of it, while the design and construction methodology may render it “outsider” to the architectural establishment and academia, this architecture is fundamentally fractal, thus highly mathematical. A lot can be learnt from it.

Who can apply?

Architects, students, architecture enthusiasts, engineers, designers, urban planners, interior designers, cultural experts and enthusiasts, artists and other professions in the built, design, arts and culture and related environment are invited to take part in this remarkable project.

How to apply:

Send application together with

For further general inquiries with regards to the project do not hesitate to contact us.

Deadline for applications: September 30, 2019

This Project is           In partnership