Supporting The Art Community in Tengenenge, Zimbabwe
Watson Chirume is born on the 3rd of August in 1962. He belongs to the Nzou Samanyanga (elephant) totem of the Korekore tribe. At the age of eight, he attended Tillon primary school for his academics but could only attend school up to grade 5 due to financial reasons. In 1980, he started working at Munjanji farm where he was employed as a farm mechanic assistant. Later on he was promoted to beoame a store cashier for seven years.
In 1988, he came to Tengenenge farm to be employed as a tractor driver. He changed his place of employment because of the rumors he heard about Tengenenge and his interest in stone sculpting. This interest was based on his dreams he had about sculpting elephants. He started sculpting part time under the instruction of Lovemore Mutsetsa while working as a driver on the farm up to 2000. In 2000 during the land reform, the farm he worked on was invaded and the owners including the employees were forced to leave the place. Not having another place to go to, he moved to the Tengenenge art community and became a full time artist.
Besides the elephants, he created swimming tortoises and ‘lovers’, however he created these ones in his search for marketable sculptures. He was so pleased after his sculptures produced good sales in 2005, reaching a figure of sixty million Zimbabwean dollars.
Watson is married to Ririna Manyana and they have three children.
Watson Chirume’s sculptures