Richard was born in 1947 in Harare, Zimbabwe. He showed artistic talent early and studied at the Canon Paterson Art Centre after his primary education. Encouraged by his brother Boira, he then attended workshops at the National Gallery in Harare and began to experiment with sculpture.
In 1973 the deteriorating political climate forced the resignation of gallery's influential curator, Frank McEwen. Many artists, including Mteki, had no alternative but to leave the workshop.
Richard Mteki is now one of the most prominent and collectable names in Zimbabwean sculpture. His sculpture has been commissioned for state buildings and as gifts for foreign dignitaries. Group exhibitions include:
- 'Sculpture Contemporaines du Zimbabwe', Musée National des Arts Africains et Oceaniens, Paris (1990)
- 'Sten Skulptur Fran Zimbabwe', Millesgarden Museum, Sweden (1990)
- 'Soul in Stone', Perth and Sydney, Australia (1986)
- Retrospective Exhibition of Shona Sculpture,
Zimbabwe House, London, UK (1981)