Tendai Gwaravaza was born in 1981 in Wedza, Zimbabwe, south east of the capital Harare. He is the first-born in a family of seven. His youngest brother Timothy is also a sculptor.
He grew up under the guidance of his father John who was a sculptor, and his grandmother (ambuya) who was a storyteller and a potter. His uncles, who lived nearby, were wood carvers who made drums and traditional instruments called mbira (thumb pianos). It was a fascinating and inspiring environment to grow up in, surrounded by traditional craftsmen.
Tendai’s father encouraged him into stone sculpting. His first inspiration for his abstract sculptures was the sea – both the fluid wave forms of the water and the creatures within it. Even today, that influence is still strong in his work.
As a child growing up in a landlocked country, the sea was an abstract notion of form and motion. Amazingly, it was not until 2013 that Tendai Gwaravaza visited Cape Town and saw the ocean for real for the very first time!
Awards and competitions:
2015, 2017 Participated in Annual Exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare
2008 Winner, “Creativity and Originality” competition, held at Chitungwiza Arts Centre, Zimbabwe