Supporting The Art Community in Tengenenge, Zimbabwe
Kakoma Kweli is born 1910 in Angola and arrived in Tengenenge at the age of 85 for the funeral of his commemorates Makina Kameya. Having intended only a short visit in the Art Community, he decided to stay and started sculpting in spite of his age. His sculptures are inspired by the masks of the Makishi, the masquerade of the Mbunda from Angola. Back in his home country he used to fabricate these masks out of wood and started in Tengenenge to carve those same shapes in stone. His figures are by trend strongly simplified. Kakoma Kweli died in 1995 in Tengenenge.
Bernard Matemera is born in 1946 close in Guruve. In his childhood he used to carve wood and modelling clay in his spare time. At the age of 17 he moved to the Tengenenge farm where he was employed as a tractor driver. When the Tengenenge Art community was founded in 1966, Bernard joined the other workers in sculpting and developed soon his own style. His sculptures are representations of humans and animal figures shaped in grotesque forms such as distended lips, bulging eyes, horns gigantic body or feet with only two or three toes. Even though he had the offer to join the National Gallery or the Chapungu Park in Harare Bernard always remained in Tengenenge. 1986 he won the Triennale Award in New Delhi, India. His sculptures are exhibited worldwide. Bernard Matemera died 2002 in Tengenenge.
Edward Chiwewa was born in 1935 in Guruve. He started sculpting at the age of 35, taught by Wilson Chakawa. He did not physically move to Tengenenge but kept on living and working in Guruve, bringing his sculptures for sale to Tengenenge. During the war he left the Guruve area in 1979 and joined Tom Blomefield in Harare. After the war he decided to settle down in Harare and built a house in the neighbourhood of Fanizani Akuda and Sylvester Mubayi in Chitungwiza. There he became a member of the artist group FriendsForever.
Fanizani is born 1932 in Zambia’s Eastern Province and came to Zimbabwe in search for work. At first he worked as a cotton picker, basket weaver and brick moulder before finding employment at Tengenenge as a miner in 1967. Tom Blomefield encouraged him to try sculpting himself and after some insistence, Fanizani tried his talent as an artist and soon became a successful sculptor. In 1979 he left Tengenenge because of the fighting that took place around Tengenenge in the liberation struggle. He joined Tom Blomefield in Harare and started to create a circle of friends. As a result he decided after the war to stay in Harare and bought a house in Chitungwiza, in the south of Harare. There he became member of the group FriendsForever. The sculptures produced by Fanizani Akuda are easily recognized by the cheerful eyes and smiling faces. Fanizani Akuda passed away in 2011 in Chitungwiza.
Henry Munyaradzi (1931-1998)
Henry Munyaradzi is born in 1931 in Guruve district. Having not received any formal education, he worked at first as a carpenter. Visiting Tengenenge in 1967 he was fascinated by the artists’ work and decided to try it himself. He received the permission of Tom Blomefield to erect his mud house in the village and moved with his family to Tengenenge. During the war, he left Tengenenge in 1975 since it was too dangerous to stay. After the end of the war in 1980 he decided not to go back to Tengenenge but bought a farm in Ruwa from where he worked in the subsequent years. Henry creates sculptures of high aesthetic value which represent by trend simplified facial characteristics into a polished stone. Henry Munyaradzi passed away in 1998.
You must be logged in to post a comment.