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Background of Stone Sculptors

The founding artists known as the first generation (1957 to 1980). Amongst the founders are Joram Mariga, Boira Mteki, John & Bernard Takawira, Henry Munyaradzi, Sylvester Mubayi, Joseph Ndandarika, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Josia Manzi, Wazi Maricolo, Chrispen Duve, Claud Nyanhongo, Fanizani Akuda and many others.

Joram Mariga is known as the father of the sculpture movement. He told the story that while working for the district agricultural department he watched a farm road being built and noticed how easily the road making machinery cut through the stone. He decided one day to take a piece of stone home and to try and carve it using the wood chisels he was using to do wood carvings. This was a step forward into carving and the new medium was brought to the attention of a Mrs. Williams who later told Frank McEwan and the humble beginning of the stone sculpture art movement of Zimbabwe was born.

Many pages can be written about these artists. (There are many published books and news paper articles explaining what these artists have achieved in their life time.) They all have contributed in some way to the art movement. Nicholas Mukomberanwa has had many written laurels bestowed on him, John Sheppard of the London Sunday Times wrote back in 1985 that at any one time 5 out of the top 10 stone sculptors in the world would be found working in Zimbabwe. It has been stated that Nicholas was considered to be one of the three best hard stone carvers in the world. Sylvester Mubayi won the Ernest Oppenheimer prize for sculpture and it does not stop there.

The next wave of artists, the apprentices to the founders are known as the second generation. Many of these sculptors are already world famous and would hold their own if compared with their mentors. To mention a few Dominic Benhura, Joseph Muzoda, Gideon Nyanhongo, Richard Mteki, Joe Mutasa and last but not least the famous ladies Agnes Nyanhongo and Colleen Madamombe. The Sculpture movement has now entered the third generation and the emerging artists has started.


Click on the links to view the First, Second, Third and Emerging Generation Sculptors.

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