Artists – Shona Sculptors

Please click on an artist’s name (highlighted in yellow) to go to their biography page and see their available artworks.

This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of Zimbabwe’s sculptors – only artists whose work has been shown by Guruve are listed here. Artists are listed in alphabetical order of surname in each section.


Famous Artists

Shown here are many of the so-called ‘first generation’ of artists from the Shona sculpture movement. These are the lucky few who achieved international exposure and recognition from the late 1960s onwards. Most of them have now passed away.

Also listed in this section are well-known artists from the ‘second generation’ who followed them. Happily, most of this cohort of Zimbabwean sculptors are still with us.

Fanizani Akuda (1932-2011)

portrait photo of artist Fanizani Akuda

Fanizani was born in Zambia, and came to Zimbabwe in 1949. He worked on Tom Blomefield’s Tengenenge farm where the famous sculpture community was based. In 1966, Tom gave him a set of sculpting tools and encouraged him to experiment with the stone.

In the late 1970s, Fanizani decided to move to the city, to escape the disruption of the war of independence. He continued sculpting right up until his death when he was nearly eighty and was a much-loved character within the Harare art community. His work has been exhibited worldwide for decades and is in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe as well as many private collections.

Lovemore Bonjisi (1985-)

Lovemore Bonjisi artist portrait photo

Lovemore Bonjisi was born in January 1985 in Ruwa, a small town just east of Zimbabwe’s capital Harare.

Lovemore was taught to sculpt by his brother Lameck (now deceased), who was a well-known sculptor.

Lovemore cites as his inspiration the late, great Zimbabwean sculptor Nicholas Mukomberanwa, who was Lameck’s teacher and mentor. Nicholas’ sculptures have stylised faces and cubist forms, and one can see this influence filtering down through the generations.

Edward Chiwawa (c.1916-)

portrait photo of Edward Chiwawa

Edward Chiwawa began sculpting in 1970; he was inspired and encouraged by his cousin Henry Munyaradzi, who was already an established artist at the nearby Tengenenge sculpture community.

The war of independence forced the temporary closure of Tengenenge. Edward joined the National Gallery in Salisbury (now Harare) and sculpted for over 20 years. He still lives in Harare with his extended family.

Numerous international exhibitions and awards, including: First prize, ‘7th International Small Sculpture Exhibition’, Budapest, Hungary (1986)

He is also featured in a number of authoritative books including ‘Shona Sculpture in Zimbabwe’ by Celia Winter-Irving and ‘Shona Sculpture’ by Ferdinand Mor.

Ephraim Chaurika (1940-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Ephraim Chaurika

Ephraim Chaurika was born in Guruve, northern Zimbabwe. He is a member of the Kore Kore tribe.

Ephraim joined Tom Blomefield’s Tengenenge Art Community in 1966 and began sculpting the local serpentine stone.

Now over 75, Ephraim continues to sculpt. He has a worldwide following and is particularly well-known for his endearing sculptures of horses.

International group exhibitions include ‘Contemporary Stone Carving From Zimbabwe’, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (1990).

He is also featured in (and on the cover of) ‘Myth and Magic: The Art Of The Shona Of Zimbabwe’ by Joy Kuhn.

Arthur Fata (1963-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Arthur Fata

Arthur Fata was born in Harare, Zimbabwe. He went to various high schools, before joining the BAT Workshop School at the National Gallery of Salisbury, run by the first curator, the hugely influential Frank McEwen.

While at the National Gallery, Arthur won numerous awards. He was awarded a scholarship to study art in Europe. In 1986, he took a Masters Degree in Fine Arts in Sofia, Bulgaria. After completing his education in 1993, he toured Europe and worked as an artist in several European countries.

Royal Katiyo (1972-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Royal Katiyo

Royal Katiyo was born in Murehwa in eastern Zimbabwe. He spent time as an apprentice with Luke Mugavazi and later with Anderson Mukomberanwa, son of the inspirational artist Nicholas Mukomberanwa.

Royal is particularly well-known for his charming chubby sculptures of quails, finished using a clever technique (almost like pointillism) to give the impression of the birds’ feathers.

In 1996, Royal was selected to join the prestigious Chapungu Sculpture Park as a Resident Artist. He has been their Artist In Residence at Missouri Botanic Gardens and Denver Botanic Gardens, USA (2006, 2007). Group exhibitions include Chapungu Exhibition, RHS Wisley, Surrey, UK (2003) and ‘Custom and Culture: A Legend in Stone’, Kew Gardens, London, UK (2000).

Colleen Madamombe (1964-2009)

portrait picture of female sculptor Colleen Madamombe

Colleen Madamombe is the best-known and most sought-after female artist in the Zimbabwean sculpture movement.

Colleen studied at the BAT Workshop School at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 1985/6, obtaining a diploma in Fine Arts. She joined Chapungu Sculpture Park in 1987. She spent three years at Chapungu and became close friends with another very famous woman sculptor, Agnes Nyanhongo.

Colleen became best-known for her work depicting women in Shona culture: the themes of womanhood – marriage, motherhood and sheer hard work, twinned with demure dress and bearing – are her stock in trade.

Colleen’s work formed part of numerous Chapungu exhibitions overseas, such as ‘Custom and Culture: A Legend in Stone’, Kew Gardens, London, UK (2000).

Joram Mariga (1927-2000)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist  Joram Mariga

Joram was born in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe into an artistic family. When he moved to the Eastern Highlands in 1957, he began experimenting with carving the local soapstone.

Mariga was well aware of the significance of stone in Shona culture and history. Without outside influence, he turned to Shona beliefs and heritage to inspire his sculpture. His work from very early on had a strong spiritual dimension.

Frank McEwen, first Director of the National Gallery, was enthralled with his work.

Other artists joined Mariga in Nyanga; they included John Takawira and Bernard Takawira (Joram’s nephews) and Moses Masaya.

Joram regarded himself as the Father of modern Shona Sculpture, and was held in great esteem by other Zimbabwean artists. He travelled the country, “whispering the gospel of stone sculpture.”

Moses Masaya (1947-1996)

portrait photo of Shona artist Moses Masaya

Moses Masaya was born in Nyanga, eastern Zimbabwe. The pivotal moment in his career came in 1968 when Moses first saw the work of influential artist Joram Mariga, who quickly recognised Masaya’s talent.

In 1970 Masaya joined the Vukutu Workshop set up by Frank McEwen (Director of the National Gallery). A number of Masaya’s sculptures featured prominently in the seminal exhibition of Shona sculpture held at the Musée Rodin in Paris.

Throughout his sculpting career, Masaya imposed his own lines on the stone, often changing the stone’s original shape quite dramatically. His faces and figures show his preference for sharp, clean lines.

“This is my vision of creation,” he once said. “If I were the creator, this is how I would have made them.”

Bernard Matemera (1946-2002)

portrait photo of Shona artist Bernard Matemera

The late Bernard Matemera was one of the most important sculptors of the First Generation of Zimbabwean Sculpture.

Bernard was the symbolic leader at the Tengenenge Sculpture Village in northern Zimbabwe. He had been one of the first artists to take up sculpting there full-time, having grown up nearby.

His work is full of depth and spiritual meaning, much like the man himself. He was a humble, spiritual man whose great strength exploded in his work.

Group exhibitions include: Afrika Museum, Netherlands (1994); Yorkshire Sculpture Park, UK (1990-91); Commonwealth Institute, London, UK (1981).

Jonathan Mhondorohuma (1969-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean Shona artist Jonathan Mhondorohuma

In 1989, a chance meeting with the master first-generation Shona sculptor Joseph Ndandarika in Harare lead the two artists to work together. The late Ndandarika is widely regarded as one of the greatest sculpting talents Zimbabwe has ever produced, and Mhondorohuma was privileged to work with him until his death in 1991.

In 1997, Jonathan was invited to join the Artist Residency programme at the prestigious Chapungu Sculpture Centre.

Group exhibitions include: Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, Vancouver, Canada (2009); Bermuda National Gallery Sculpture Garden permanent collection (2007) and a joint exhibition with Dominic Benhura, Gallery Munhumatapa, South Africa (2001).

Boira Mteki (1946-1991)

portrait photo of Shona artist Boira Mteki

Boira Mteki was born in what was then Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe). He initially worked at the Canon Paterson Craft Centre in Highfields in Harare.

He discovered a pale grey limestone deposit just outside Salisbury. His first work in limestone was very powerful, and he showed it to Frank McEwen, then director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. McEwen was so impressed that he invited Boira to join the emerging group of influential artists gathered there, and Boira’s career as an artist proper began.

Boira’s work is in the Permanent Collection of the National Gallery. His work was part of various ground-breaking exhibitions and he is now regarded as one of the elder statesmen of the Shona sculpture movement.

Richard Mteki (1947-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Richard Mteki

Richard was born 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 Mteki, he then attended workshops at the National Gallery in Harare and began to experiment with sculpture.

Richard Mteki is now one of the most prominent and collectable names in Zimbabwean sculpture. His sculptures have been commissioned for state buildings and as gifts for foreign dignitaries.

Group exhibitions include: Musée National des Arts Africains et Océaniens, Paris (1990); Millesgarden Museum, Sweden (1990) and Zimbabwe House, London, UK (1981).

Sylvester Mubayi (1942-)

portrait photo of Shona artist Sylvester Mubayi

Sylvester was included as one of the top ten sculptors in the world by The Guardian in 1991.

Sylvester is one of the last surviving links to the early days of modern Zimbabwean sculpture. He began sculpting in the 1960s at the Tengenenge sculpture community in northern Zimbabwe. Later, he was invited to be a resident artist at the National Gallery by its influential first director, Frank McEwen. Sylvester was a founder member of the new sculpture community established by McEwen in Vukutu (eastern Zimbabwe), where he did some of his finest work.

His life and work is guided by Shona beliefs and traditions, and as an elder he teaches and advises the younger members of his community through metaphor and storytelling – and his sculptures always tell a story as well.

Nesbert Mukomberanwa (1969-)

Zimbabwean Shona artist Nesbert Mukomberanwa

Nesbert Mukomberanwa was born in Buhera, central Zimbabwe. In 1987, he began to study sculpture with his uncle Nicholas Mukomberanwa, one of the most famous and internationally respected artists of the Shona sculpture movement.

By 1989, Nesbert felt ready to work alone. He established his own workshop at home in Chitungwiza and developed a distinctive style, quickly gaining international recognition.

In 1998, Nesbert relocated to the tranquillity of the countryside, where he is finally free to concentrate fully on his art.

Group exhibitions include Reece Galleries (USA) with Henry Munyaradzi and Nicholas Mukomberanwa amongst others (2005); Memphis, USA (organised by Matombo Gallery, Harare) (2002, 2003).

Nicholas Mukomberanwa (1940-2002)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Nicholas Mukomberanwa

Nicholas Mukomberanwa was the most influential and internationally respected artist in the Zimbabwean sculpture movement.

He began sculpting in 1962, when he met the Director of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Frank McEwen.

Nicholas created some simply astonishing works. Galleries around the world exhibited his sculptures. He sculpted with great critical acclaim until his death.

His work formed part of several seminal exhibitions during the 1960s-1970s period, including at the Musée Rodin (Paris) where his piece was selected for the poster image and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London). He also had six solo exhibitions.

Henry Munyaradzi (1931-1998)

portrait photo of famous artist Henry Munyaradzi

Known simply as ‘Henry’, Henry Munyaradzi is the best-known artist in the Zimbabwean sculpture movement, and his works are highly collectable.

Henry was born in Guruve, northern Zimbabwe. He began sculpting in 1967 at the Tengenenge sculpture community after meeting its owner-founder Tom Blomefield.

His work formed part of several seminal exhibitions during the 1960s-1970s period, including at the Musée Rodin (Paris) and the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London). He also had eight solo exhibitions worldwide.

Joe Mutasa (1964-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Joe Mutasa

Joe Mutasa is one of the most prominent names of the second generation of Zimbabwean sculptors. As a sculptor with over 30 years’ experience, he has travelled widely as a resident artist at a number of high-profile international exhibitions. His work has also been featured in innumerable local and international joint and solo exhibitions. His graceful sculptures with their fine proud features are instantly recognisable and much sought-after by collectors worldwide.

Group exhibitions include Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, South Africa (1997-8) and ‘Custom and Culture: A Legend in Stone’, Kew Gardens, London, UK (2000). Joe was a Visiting Artist at Art in Action, Waterperry Gardens, UK (2003).

Joseph Ndandarika (1940-1991)

portrait photo of famous artist Joseph Ndandarika

Joseph grew up immersed in rural Shona culture and spiritual beliefs. In 1962, he came to Salisbury (now Harare) and joined the National Workshop School under Frank McEwen, where he studied the arts and experimented with various media. He became an accomplished painter.

Although Joseph became a city dweller, he remained profoundly spiritual; his highly critically acclaimed work spoke of human potential, the soul and the spirit. He struggled with the effects of urbanisation on Shona culture and beliefs and it lead to the creation of some of the greatest works of the Zimbabwean sculpture movement.

Joseph was one of Zimbabwe’s greatest talents – described by Frank McEwen as ‘a universal genius’.

Locardia Ndandarika (1945-)

portrait photo of female artist Locardia Ndandarika

Locardia Ndandarika was born in Bindura in northern Zimbabwe. As a young girl, she used to make clay models of animals. In 1964, she married Joseph Ndandarika, one of the foremost stone sculptors of Zimbabwe. In the fourteen years they were married, Locardia became an accomplished sculptor – despite Joseph’s efforts to dissuade her.

In 1986, she joined the workshop at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe to develop her artistic career. She was later invited to work at Chapungu Sculpture Centre, then the most prestigious gallery in Zimbabwe.

Seven of her sculptures were included in the seminal exhibition ‘Sculpture Contemporaine des Shonas d’Afrique’ at the Musée Rodin, Paris, France in 1971. Locardia has maintained her position as one of Zimbabwe’s most prominent female artists in the years that followed.

Claud Nyanhongo (1934-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Claud Nyanhongo

Claud Nyanhongo was born in Nyanga in Eastern Zimbabwe. He began sculpting in 1964. His interest was aroused by the work of Joram Mariga, a very influential Zimbabwean artist who is partly responsible (along with Frank McEwen) for creating the ‘Shona sculpture’ movement, as it’s known today.

At Independence in 1980, after the disruption of the liberation war, Claud began to sculpt again. He moved to Harare, gravitating as all serious artists do to the area with most opportunity and patronage. Claud stayed with his friend, sculptor Moses Masaya.

He subsequently emerged as a seriously talented artist. His work has been featured in numerous major exhibitions of Zimbabwean sculpture, including Musée National des Africains et Océaniens, Paris, France (1990) and The Mall Galleries, London, UK (1982).

Edronce Rukodzi (1952-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Edronce Rukodzi

Edronce Rukodzi was born in Guruve, northern Zimbabwe. He joined the Tengenenge sculpture community in 1974. Edronce’s uncle Henry Munyaradzi was already an established artist; Edronce studied with him at Tengenenge for four years.

By the late 1970s, the Rhodesian war of independence caused so much disruption that Edronce moved to Chitungwiza, a satellite town of Harare. In 1984 Edronce gave up his job as a trades’ union official to become a full-time sculptor.

Group exhibitions include Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio, USA (1991) and Commonwealth Institute, London, UK (1989).

Brighton Sango (1958-1995)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Brighton Sango

Brighton Sango was the leading light of the ‘second generation’ of Zimbabwean sculptors and was hugely influential in the Shona art movement.

He was born in Guruve, Northeast Zimbabwe. He began sculpting at the nearby Tengenenge sculpture community, learning the basic techniques from Bernard Matemera, but stayed only a few months as he strongly felt the need to work alone.

At Independence in 1980, Brighton came to Harare, the focal point for the most respected Zimbabwean artists. He struggled with the urban environment and, in 1990, he returned to the bush (sango).

Sango seems to have been the most introspective of all the Zimbabwean sculptors: his inspiration came from within. His abstract forms challenged what we think of as African art and Shona sculpture has never been the same since.

Norbert Shamuyarira (1962-)

portrait photo of artist Norbert Shamuyarira

Norbert Shamuyarira was born in Chinhoyi, northern Zimbabwe. He began sculpting at the age of 17 after a chance encounter with a very famous Zimbabwean sculptor, Bernard Takawira. Norbert worked with Takawira for four years, but since 1984 he has lived and worked on his own.

Norbert’s sculptures are characterised by a respect for the shape and texture of the stone. His chequered family history has had a profound influence on his work and the sculptures often examine human relationships and personal feelings.

Group exhibitions include ‘Spirit in Stone: Zimbabwe Shona Sculpture’, Cleveland Natural History Museum, Cleveland, Ohio, USA (1991) and ‘Talking Stones’, Contemporary Fine Art Gallery, Eton, UK (2003 – 2005)

Bernard Takawira (1948-1997)

portrait photo of Shona artist Bernard Takawira

Bernard Takawira was born near Nyanga in eastern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe). Although he struggled economically with sculpting when he lived in Nyanga, things improved greatly when he moved to the capital Salisbury in 1977. He worked as a full-time sculptor from then on.

Bernard’s approach to sculpture was very typical of Shona sculpture as an art movement – he perceived the subject or form within the stone and, by removing the superfluous stone, he was able to liberate the sculpture within.

Bernard was selected to represent Zimbabwe at an International Sculpture Conference in the USA in 1982. He was awarded first prize in the National Gallery’s (NGZ) annual exhibition and the NGZ’s Director’s Award of Distinction in 1988. His work was part of the ground-breaking exhibition ‘Shona Sculptures of Rhodesia’ at the ICA in London in 1972 and in numerous exhibitions thereafter.

John Takawira (1938-1989)

Zimbabwean Shona artist John Takawira

John grew up in Nyanga, Eastern Zimbabwe. When he left school, he joined Joram Mariga’s loose association of sculptors. John showed one of his first pieces to the director of the National Gallery (NGZ) in Salisbury (now Harare). Frank McEwen was enthusiastic and as early as 1963 the Annual Exhibition included some of John’s work.

Takawira’s work increasingly used very rough, naturally weathered textures. He leant heavily on his dreams for inspiration – a 1981 exhibition was entitled ‘My Dreams’.

His work was included in the seminal exhibitions of Shona sculpture at Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris, 1970) and Musée Rodin (Paris, 1971). He held a solo exhibition in Harare in 1977 and in 1981 was awarded First Prize at the Annual Exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.


More Artists from Zimbabwe

These young artists are Guruve’s hand-picked selection, showcasing the most talented sculptors of the younger generation.

Willard Bopoto (1985-)

portrait photo of artist Willard Bopoto

“In my opinion, loving a hobby is the precondition for any positive development. If you like doing [something] and you do it well, then continue doing it for the rest of your life.”

Willard Bopoto was born in the small town of Guruve in northern Zimbabwe. At primary school, his favourite lessons were art and craft. Guruve has rich serpentine deposits, and he spent much of his childhood experimenting in stone sculpture.

At secondary school, Willard’s passion for art continued unabated. He sold some small pieces, which reinforced his self-belief; so, when he left school, he began sculpting full-time.

Peter Chidzonga (1979-)

portrait photo of Peter Chidzonga

Peter was born in Chiweshe in northern Zimbabwe. In 1991, Peter started to sculpt with Ishmael Kapeta.

From 1995 to 1996 Peter worked with Ishmael’s older brother Biggie Kapeta, a well-known sculptor, as his assistant at Chapungu Gallery. In 1997, Peter started working by himself.

Peter is particularly known for his lovely sculptures of birds. His work has been shown in galleries in Canada, UK, USA, the Netherlands, France and others, as well as at the prestigious Chapungu Gallery in Harare.

Peter Chidzonga spent three months in Calgary, Canada in 2007, exhibiting his work and running sculpture workshops.

Remembrance Chikuruwo (1989-)

Remembrance Chikuruwo - portrait photo

“The stories in my art relate to the spiritual – animals, birds, water and others. When I was growing up, I was also a hunter; whenever I wanted to renew my creativity I would just wander in the mountains and along the river banks.”

Remembrance Chikuruwo was born in Chivhu in central Zimbabwe. His father Simoriro Chikuruwo encouraged his son to try stone sculpture. Simoriro is a sculptor and also a traditional healer.

His childhood in the sango (bush), and his father’s deep connection to Shona beliefs and traditions, mean Remembrance is deeply connected to nature and Shona spirituality.

Remembrance’s work effortlessly combines the uncluttered feel of the best of Zimbabwe’s contemporary abstract sculpture with the inspiration that comes from a traditional rural upbringing.

Ishmael Chitiyo (1982-)

portrait photo of young Zimbabwean sculptor Ishmael Chitiyo

Ishmael Chitiyo was born in Chitungwiza, a conurbation with the capital Harare in Zimbabwe.

His older brother Solomon taught Ishmael how to sculpt. Then for a few years he worked with Ignatius Zhuwakiyi, a well-known young artist. Famous ‘first generation’ Shona artist Sylvester Mubayi also inspired Ishmael and helped him when he was learning. When he had proved himself, Ishmael began to work alone.

Commendations for his work include:

  • one of three finalists in the 3D visual arts category in the 2008 National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) awarded by Zimbabwe’s National Arts Council (NACZ)
  • Certificate of Excellence, Kristin Diehl Sculpture Prize, German Embassy, Harare, Zimbabwe (2006), Ishmael was chosen as one of the top ten artists, whose works formed a 6-day exhibition

Peter Gwisa (1980-)

portrait photo of abstract artist Peter Gwisa

At the age of 15, Peter joined well-known sculptor Raymond Chirambadare to train to be a sculptor.

Peter assisted Raymond for five years and they worked together as partners for a further four years until Raymond passed away in 2006. Since then, Peter has worked independently.

Peter’s work has been displayed in galleries in Germany, South Africa, the Netherlands and the United States amongst others.

Peter Gwisa was one of four finalists in the 8th National Arts Merit Awards competition (sculpture category) in 2009. His piece Dancing Flames earned a Special Mention, suggesting he missed being the winner by the tightest of margins.

Munyaradzi Jeche (1976-)

portrait photo of Munyaradzi Jeche

Munyaradzi was born in Chivhu, central Zimbabwe. In 1995, he started sculpting as an apprentice to his uncle, the world-famous ‘first generation’ Zimbabwean sculptor Nicholas Mukomberanwa. Later, he also worked with another respected artist, Albert Mamvura. From 1998, he has worked independently.

In Oct 2013, Munyaradzi won third prize in the Art exhibition and competition ‘Celebration’, held at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre to celebrate its 15th Anniversary.

Munyaradzi’s work has been exhibited in all of Guruve’s annual exhibitions. His work has also been exhibited in South Africa, Germany, United States of America, and Canada amongst others.

Antony Masamba (1973-)

Zimbabwean Shona sculptor Antony Masamba

Antony Masamba was born in was born in Chitungwiza, a conurbation with the capital Harare in Zimbabwe. A year after he left school, he became an apprentice to famous artist Albert Mamvura.

After five years, Antony began to sculpt by and for himself. He is now an extremely talented and promising young artist. At the same time, he is a member of an interesting and competitive new generation of sculptors. Although greatly impressed by the work of older artists, he has fought hard to establish his own style and this has paved the way for his success.

Antony’s work was included in the Het Slot Heist exhibition in The Netherlands, jointly organised by Gallery Sonda and Chapungu in 2001. His works have been also exhibited in galleries in Germany, Britain, America and Canada amongst others.

Washington Matafi (1981-)

portrait photo of Washington Matafi

Washington Matafi was a finalist in the sculpture category in Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Awards competition in 2013 and 2009.

In recent years, he has spent each three months each summer in Germany as Resident Artist at sculpting workshops and group exhibitions.

In 2006, he was a finalist in the Young Sculptor Awards (organised by African Millennium Foundation) and he was the winner of the men’s section of the ‘Creativity and Originality’ exhibition at Chitungwiza Arts Centre, judged by Dominic Benhura and Celia Winter-Irving amongst others.

Tutani Mgabazi (1975-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean sculptor Tutani Mgabazi

Tutani Mgabazi was born in the town of Guruve in northern Zimbabwe. He learned to sculpt with his uncle Francis Mugavazi, a well-known sculptor. The Mugavazi family own the main springstone mine and many are also well-established sculptors.

While he was still at secondary school, some of Tutani’s pieces had already been displayed in the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. So when he left school in 1992, he went straight to being a sculptor. His joint exhibition with his uncle Luke Mugavazi in 1993 marked the start of his career as a professional sculptor.

Career highlights include representing Zimbabwe at the International Sculpture Symposium, Obernkirchen, Germany (2000, 2006 & 2015) and a joint exhibition with his wife at the Town Hall, Kingston, Ontario (2009)

Itayi Mupumha (1975-)

portrait photo of Itayi Mupumha

Itayi Mupumha was born in Rusape in eastern Zimbabwe.

In 1994, his uncle Richard Mupumha encouraged Itayi to start stone sculpting under his guidance. After a two-year apprenticeship, Itayi was confident enough to strike out on his own and to establish his name as an artist.

Itayi was one of four Zimbabwean artists (along with Tonderai Sowa) invited to participate in an Artist Exchange at Sonkala Yonkala in Luanda, Angola with Angolan artist Jao Mayembe (Feb-Apr 2014).

Onias Mupumha (1978-)

portrait photo of Zimbabwean artist Onias Mupumha

Onias was born in Rusape in eastern Zimbabwe. He moved to Harare in 1997, where his uncle Richard Mupumha encouraged Onias to try stone sculpture under his guidance. Onias started doing his own sculptures in 1999 and is now a well-established artist with many international patrons.

Onias Mupumha won the sculpture category in the visual arts section of the 2008 National Arts Merit Awards awarded by Zimbabwe’s National Arts Council.
Well-deserved national recognition from Zimbabwe’s arts elite for one of the brightest stars in a new generation of talent. Onias was also Guruve’s Artist In Residence in Summer 2008.

Richard Mupumha (1963-)

portrait photo of Richard Mupumha

“I am possessed by my forefathers’ spirits, who were highly talented artists … I feel very proud developing and continuing with the art tradition my forefathers passed on to me … this is part of our heritage.”

Richard Mupumha was born in was born in Chitungwiza, a conurbation with the capital Harare in Zimbabwe. As a child, he excelled at clay modelling and was the best wood carver at school. In 1993, after a succession of unfulfilling jobs, he became a full-time sculptor.

Since 1996, Richard has been Artist in Residence at numerous workshops and group exhibitions in Spain and particularly Germany.

He was a finalist in the Mixed Media category in Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) (2013). Richard won First Prize in the ‘Art for Charity’ competition organised by the Swiss and Zimbabwean Rotary Project (2016).

Rufaro Murenza (1980-)

portrait photo of representational artist Rufaro Murenza

“At the moment it seems the sky is the limit.”

Rufaro Murenza was nominated for a fifth year as a finalist in Zimbabwe’s National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA) in 2020, a record achievement.

Rufaro was a deserving winner of the 3D sculpture category of the 2015 NAMA awards. He was also a NAMA finalist in 2017, 2016 and 2014.

Rufaro worked for many years with well-known ‘second generation’ artist Joe Mutasa. In 1998, they both attended a granite carving workshop hosted at Chapungu with renowned artist Joram Mariga and two visiting Japanese sculptors.

Tanyanyiwa Nyandoro (1982-)

portrait photo of young Zimbabwean artist Tanyanyiwa Nyandoro

Tanyanyiwa Nyandoro was the winner of the 2009 ‘Artist Of The Year’ competition sponsored by the Bernard Matemera Foundation. His sculpture was judged to be the most original piece, uninfluenced by others around him. Tanya was also recognised for his commitment to sculpting and the amazing improvement he had shown over recent years.

Ignatius Zhuwakiyi, a well-known sculptor who was a Resident Artist at the prestigious Chapungu Sculpture Village, inspired Tanyanyiwa to become a sculptor. Ignatius taught him the basics of stone sculpture and encouraged him to become an independent artist. Tanyanyiwa has been sculpting since 1998.

Tonderai Sowa (1978-)

portrait photo of Tonderai Sowa

Tonderai Sowa was born in Nyanga in eastern Zimbabwe. He began sculpting with his step-father, Julius Chinhoyi, in 1995. He took the decision to work alone as a full-time artist in 2002.

Tonderai’s career has accelerated in leaps and bounds. Recent highlights include:

  • Oct 2013 – second prize in the Art exhibition and competition ‘Celebration’, held at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre to celebrate its 15th Anniversary
  • Feb-Apr 2014 – one of four Zimbabwean artists (along with Itayi Mupumha) invited to participate in an Artist Exchange at Sonkala Yonkala in Luanda, Angola with Angolan artist Jao Mayembe

Morgan ‘Tago’ Tazvitya (1954-)

portrait photo of Shona artist Tago Tazvitya

Tago Tazvitya was born in Chegutu in central Zimbabwe. He is a self-taught artist, and was inspired by the renowned ‘first generation’ sculptor John Takawira. He has been a full-time artist since 1978.

In 2006 Tago was on the judging panel of the ‘Creativity and Originality’ sculpture competition at Chitungwiza Arts Centre. In 2008, 2009 and 2019, he was selected by the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe to be a judge for the prestigious annual National Arts Merit Awards.

Since 2009, Tago has spent three months each year as a Resident Artist holding sculpture workshops in Germany and The Netherlands. In 1995 and 1997 he held solo exhibitions in Berlin, the latter including a workshop with European sculptors.

Jetro Zinyeka (1970-)

portrait photo of Jetro Zinyeka

Jetro Zinyeka is a cousin of the well-known Zimbabwean sculptor Gladman Zinyeka (deceased). Jetro comes from the Gutu district in central Zimbabwe.

After leaving school, he was introduced to sculpting by Gladman, who was then one of the best-known young artists in the Shona sculpture movement. He worked with his cousin until he knew how to talk to a natural rock and then work on it and bring out something that other people appreciated.

Jetro’s work was shown alongside Agnes Nyanhongo and Colleen Madamombe in the group sculpture exhibition ‘In Praise Of Women’, which toured Oxford, London, Denmark and Sweden in 2003.