Artist in Residence, Live Music & Curator Talk

As part of CubaDupa's new public art programme, join embroiderer and story-teller, Lema Shamamba, musician Sam Manzanza and community development curator Zoe Black of Objectspace for a weekend of special activities at Made Marion (Wellington's leading inner-city crafts and sewing supply shop).

Lema Shamamba is a leader, educator, mother and storyteller, originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In association with Auckland’s Objectspace, Lema will be showing her remarkable embroidered narratives of ongoing conflicts in the Congo, and other work.

Lema will be in residence at the shop to meet you, Sam will be performing on both Saturday and Sunday, and a Curators of Cuba discussion with Lema, Sam and Zoe will take place on Sunday at 1.15pm.

Mulame was first exhibited at Objectspace’s Chartwell Gallery in 2019 and curated by Ane Tonga.



Live Music: Saturday 27th March, 2pm + 4pm / Sunday 28th March, 12pm, 1pm + 2pm

Curators of Cuba Discussion: Sunday 28th March, 1.15pm


Lema Shamamba uses the medium of embroidery to make moving statements about the impact of politics, greed and war upon the lives of ordinary people.

Shamamba’s unique storytelling process was developed to overcome language barriers during her initial resettlement in New Zealand. Shamamba’s memories manifest into written story, then into drawings and finally into embroidered textiles set within the Congo landscape. She has relied on all three creative mediums as a means of embodying messages, histories and identities of DRC.

Shamamba’s embroidered narratives are potent in their depiction of the ongoing conflicts in the Congo. Conflict over minerals is represented through metallic coloured forms whilst characters illustrate the daily threat of being killed or raped by militia. In some works figures are shown attempting crossing the border. Within these graphic retellings, Shamamba also offers counter imagery, such as the DRC flag that has been reconfigured as the ‘sun’ within her landscapes, which act as symbols of hope embodying her resilient stance: “the beauty of Congo can light up the whole world.”

Lema Shamamba was born and raised in Bweremana, a district of Masisi in the eastern territory of the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are more than 200 Congolese ethnic groups in the DRC and her family is Hunde, the indigenous people of Masisi district.

In her West Auckland community Lema is known affectionately as ‘Mama Lema’, working closely with community development organisation, Rānui Action Project. She established Women of Hope, connecting migrant women, and was recognised for her work in Women Kind: New Zealand Women Making a Difference.

Made Marion Craft is Wellington's leading inner-city crafts and sewing supply shop and is honoured to be hosting Lema during the CubaDupa weekend.


  • Free


  • Sat 27 Mar — Sun 28 Mar


  • 12:00 pm

Address: Made Marion Craft

  • 166 Cuba Street, Te Aro
  • Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Wellington, 6011