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Nairobi’s art centre director Alan Donovan bags African award

By Brigid Chemweno | July 8th 2015

NAIROBI: The co-founder and director of the African Heritage House has been awarded the Africa Handmade Lifetime Achievement Award 2015.

Alan Donovan, the designer of the African Heritage House in Mlolongo, Nairobi, was honoured by the Africa Handmade Symposium and Gallery 2015 for his decades of commitment, resilience and hard work in the handmade sector.

"This award recognises Donovan's immense contribution in the identification, collection and preservation of Africa's heritage and culture through music, dance, fashion and most significantly, artifacts," said Christine Gitau, convener of the symposium.

She noted that throughout his career as co-founder of African Heritage, the continent's first Pan African Gallery served to remind the world that Africa was more than disease, war and famine.

She said Donovan has over four decades created a collection that is beyond the monetary value, attests to the innovation and creativity of Africa and her people.

"Following his determined effort to save the African Heritage House from demolition, he has preserved not only the legacy of his co-founder Joseph Murumbi but also of an entire continent for generations to come. He has become a role model for custodians of cultural heritage," she added.

African Heritage House is the most photographed house in Africa. Built between 1989 and 1994, the house was designed by Donovan, former Vice President Murumbi and his wife Sheila.

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