Supporting The Art Community in Tengenenge, Zimbabwe
Stabben is born in Mazoe Chiweshe on the 14th of April 1966, having the Soko Wafawanaka (monkey) totem of the Korekore tribe. His first years he spent on the farm where his father worked before being sent to work with his grandfather. In 1971, after his father suffered from an accident, his parents joined him at their parents place in Chimufombo village, Guruve where he progressed his primary education at Chimufombo school.
In 1984 he finished his ordinary levels at Nyakapupu secondary and became a medical assistant under the Red Cross Society. They were taught nursing for a period of two weeks, later to be employed at Chitsungo rural clinic in Dande. A year later he became a teacher at Risitu secondary school in Chimanimani. Later in 1986 he went to Ponesaivanhu technical college in Madziva where he was doing basic engineering, followed by a course in building at Trojan mine in Bindura. After six weeks he achieved a certificate and went on to be employed at St Phillips School for reparation works. At the school one of the teachers was active in trading with stone sculptures. He suggested to create some sculptures fir his colleague for him to sell.
He quickly realized that stones were paying much better than building and went to Chapungu art gallery to work with Ephraim Chaurika. At Chapungu he met Tom Blomefield who informed him about Tengenenge Art Community, where he moved to in 1987. Initially, Stabben created shooting flowers followed by elephants, chameleons and smiling hipppos. In the early 1990s, he produced the “shy lady’ which resembles an African woman admirable to her husband’s parents. This sculpture won an award in 2006 at the National Arts Merit Awards. This yielded him a certificate, a shield, tools and a cash prize of ten million dollars.’
Stabben is married to Tendai Kubeta and father of three children.
Stabben Masakara’s sculptures