Janet Manzi

Janet Manzi was born in 1943 at Paul farm in Mvurwi .She of the Zuru totem that belongs to the Zwangendaba tribe from Zambia.
As a child, Janet proved to be talented in portraying and designing , and during the visits to her sisters place in Bulawayo she learnt how to weave and saw .
Not receiving any formal education, in the late 1950s she got employed at Garawe farm where she earned only a very minimal salary
At the age of fifteen she got conjugal to Josia Manzi who was also a farm employee at Garawe Estates , thus they residentially transfer from the farm to Tengenenge art gallery in 1967 where her husband had been invited to do stone work.

Upon her arrival with Josia , she progressed stone sculpting as well as her husband who more often than not gave her assistance in creating .As according to her , sculpting was not all that complicated , it took her a very short period to become skilled at it.
By the time she started sculpting there were only a few women who had already joined in stone works .After producing their lots of works , they would then surrender them to Tom Blomefield who would exhibit them in his veranda for auction .Despite the disturbances echoed by the second Chimurenga they continued on their stone work ,but there is a time when she and her husband were left alone at the gallery whilst other neighbors had fled to find protection in the towns.

In order to gain extra income she used to be employed as a general worker by Tom Blomefield for cleaning the outside of Tom Bloomfield’s museum. This extra income allowed her to support the orphans left behind by her late son.

 

Sculptures of Janet Manzi

   

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