ZIMBABWE: National Arts Council Chief Director dies

NACZ founding director Dereck Huggins dies days after wife Helen. [Image: courtesy]
Zimbabwe—National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) founding director, Dereck Huggins has died. Shockingly Dereck’s death has spontaneously followed his wife’s death Helen Lieros barely a week.

Helen succumbed to Covid-19 after close to a month of battling with the egregious global pandemic.

The two founded the Gallery Delta in Harare to which Dereck was the founding manager until his untimely demise. A Delta that supported and produced several successful visual artists to international standards.

He was sworn in as the director of the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ), a position he has been occupying until 1988.

As a talented seasonal storyteller, Huggins focused in short stories writing like Writing Still (2003). A book currently used as an advance Level English Literature set book.
He has documented a number of celebrated books which include and not limited to, Stained Earth (2005), Short Writings from Bulawayo volume 1 and 2, Writing Now (2005) and Letters of Yvonne Vera and Dereck Huggins (2002-2004)

NACZ director Nicholas Moyo said in his condolence message, that their hope is trustees of Gallery Delta will carry forward Huggins passion in promoting the arts sector.

“He (Huggins) subsequently became the founding director of the NACZ, a position he held until 1998. He opened the Gallery Delta in 1975 with his wife, NAMA Legend Helen Leiros, for promotion of contemporary painting and was its managing director until his untimely death.” He spoke.

Further adding that, “The sector will never be the same without Derek and we hope the trustees of the Gallery Delta Foundation for Art and the humanities will be able to carry on the work of Derek and his wife to ensure the gallery continues to carry on their legacy of promoting the visual arts and young artists in Zimbabwe. May his soul rest in peace.” He spoke.