The Guruve Story

Guruve is a small town in northern Zimbabwe famous locally for its pink Moroccan-style hotel. It is also close to Tengenenge, an established sculpture community, which is how we found it on the map when researching stone sculpture in Zimbabwe (the ‘Shona art movement‘). An African spelling of ‘groovy’ was the perfect name for a company founded to bring the best young, fresh, funky African art and artists to a wider audience.

Guruve was established in 2000 to promote the very best in contemporary African art. A whole continent’s creativity had been largely ignored by outsiders and we wanted to change that. But we are also an ethical business – we want to convince African artists that some international patrons can be fantastic people to deal with, who bring good business and build strong friendships.

More controversially, we are not convinced that development aid money is always the best cure for all ills. Guruve know that an artist (or anybody else!) in Africa who has produced a wonderful piece of work and receives a high price for it feels proud and fulfilled, can provide for their extended family, and is much more motivated to work hard in the future than is anyone who has received something for free.

We are committed to bringing some of the income from sales back to the artists we promote, and to funding opportunities for aspiring young artists. We have made various donations to African artist groups, of materials and tools, food, etc. We have also sponsored workshops for children in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe with the help of established local artists. We have very strong relationships with many Zimbabweans and will continue to support them through these difficult times.

Tim and Emma, co-founders of Guruve, are two young ex-professionals who have exchanged impersonal office jobs for the challenge of running an ethical business that improves the lives of the talented individuals we promote. We brought with us our commitment, integrity and a strong service ethic and added our own warm personalities and a passion for Africa.

All the African artists we promote have remarked on how nice we are to do business with, confirming that our business ethics work – indeed, artists often make their best pieces especially for us as they know they will get an extremely good price. So you benefit from a choice of the highest quality original artworks, and you can trust that your money will be invested back into Africa for the benefit of aspiring artists of current and future generations.

Related links:

Shona sculpture movement – Zimbabwe’s art history

African Art

Ethical business – quantifying how we have helped over the years

Guruve’s donations made directly to artists or to UK/African charities

Arts centre gallery donation – Guruve funds the rebuild in 2015

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