“When you have spent a lot of time with your best friend, if you are apart then you miss them. You sit down and think about them and wonder what you’d have been doing together if they’d been there.
“The rhino is a very important animal in Zimbabwe. There are very few left because of poachers. In Zimbabwe, the special animals are: rhino, python, pangolin and bateleur eagle (chapungu); they were protected by the people and were messengers for the old people.”
Sylvester expresses human emotions through the metaphor of the rhino, but also makes a saddening statement about the demise of so many of these wonderful creatures in recent years. It would be likely that the rhino mourns the absence of his friend on a permanent basis.
Sylvester grew up in rural Zimbabwe and venerates all the wild animals. The rhino, which is placid (unless antagonised) and hugely strong, is one of Sylvester’s favourite topics.
Springstone is the local name for a hard variety of serpentine stone. It is a particularly good sculpture medium, as it has a dense even internal structure of small grains of rock; it is very popular with Zimbabwe’s most celebrated sculptors.