Pheoleen was born on the 24th of February 1979. He was the second born in a family of four. Some of the great sculptors like Sylvester Mubayi, Timothy Muportaringa and Domonic Benhura were a great influence and inspiration to his creativity and growth.
As a young and beginning artist, he sold his first piece to a German tourist and now has created pieces that has sold throughout the USA, Denmark and many more countries.
Pheoleen say his art is based with feeling and things which are experienced in his daily life.
Pheoleen believe that Shona art will aid and support the environment.
Bevin Chilkdozi was born in 1966 in Mrewa, Zimbabwe He was the eldest of seven children. He was married and passed away in 2006.
Bevin started sculpturing assisting his brother Biggie Chilkdozki. He worked under the guidance of Mr. Mudhokjwani, a local sculptor from 1988 to 1989. After learn some valuable skills he began to work on his own.
Bevin's sculptures portrays human emotions and relationships, Golden Serpentine is a rare hard stone found in Zimbabwe was Bevin favorite stone to carve. He enjoyed carving small pieces and bird themes.
Bevin had a quiet, gentle nature and a very good sense of humor. He was well liked in the community.
Kennedy Musekiwa was born on May 29, 1962 in the Marondera region of Zimbabwe. He is married and has four children. He was first inspired by his cousin, Victor Mutongwizo, and in 1985 began to work under his guidance. However, Joseph Ndandarika, first generation sculptor and a world-renowned master sculptor had the most influence on his sculpturing career.
At first, Kennedy worked only on a small scale but as the years went by, he dedicated himself on a full time basis to sculpting, working on exquisite small pieces on which he built himself a reputation. He expanded his creativity and began to carve large pieces, including life-size types. When carving figures, Kennedy relies on his imagination and he usually creates traditional spirit themes. In some instances, he eloquently follows the natural shape of a raw rock from which he then draws the form.
His works have been extensively exhibited in Europe, South Africa, Botswana, Canada and in particular the United States including Los Angeles Museum of Natural History and San Diego Natural History Museum. As one of the most successfully acclaimed third generation sculptor, Kennedy recently founded a carving cooperative in which he tutors and encourages over twenty young artists. He is now considered to be a master sculptor and has been highly recognized by the National Gallery of Zimbabwe for his personal artistic contributions and his effort to promote young artists.
Many of Kennedy’s earlier works are featured in the book “Spirits In Stones/The New Face Of African.
Brighton Mutongwizo was born March 25, 1975 in a family of eight. He has two older brothers and five sisters. He completed his secondary education at Ushewokunze, in Seke in 1991. In 1990 Brighton started carving under the guidance of his elder brother, Kennedy Musekiwa. As an apprentice under his brother, he cleaned and polished Kennedy’s finished works. During this training period, Brighton began carving his own small pieces in the very hard Sprignstone. Today, Brighton specializes in sculpturing very large pieces in Springstone. He usually leaves a portion of the stone in its natural state to emphasize the beginning of the finished piece. Brighton is married to Linah with a daughter named Brenda.
He worked under the guidance of his two brothers until 1995 when he established his own workshop. He is very keen on training young and upcoming Shona artist.
His works has been exhibited in Belgium, Mozambique, Holland, Japan and extensively in the USA. He received an award of Merit from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.
Gedion is a second generation sculptor whose works reflects his understanding of the world. His sculptures allow him to record important cultural and historical aspects of his personal life and of those in Zimbabwe. He states, “My work must mark stages of my life, but it must also record the important stages in the life around me”.
Gedion was encouraged to sculpture by his father, Claude Nyanhongo, one of Zimbabwe’s most renowed sculptors. Another influence in the development of his sculpturing career was the late first generation stone sculptor, Joseph Ndandarkis, who soft lines are still noticeable in Gideon’s art.
Human relationships and the combination of traditional Shona society and Western Christianity inspired Gideon the most.
Queenie is the sister of the famous Brighton Sango. She was born November 6, 1965 in Guruve. She is of the Soko (monkey) wafawanaka totem. She did her primary schooling at Nyahunzvi School and her Secondary education at Chifamba Secondary School. She was born in a family of 9 children, Queenie is the second born, and the only girl in the family. She is divorced with one child. She was taught how to sculpt by Brighton Sango.
Queenie started sculpting in 1994, at the family home in Mudindo village, in Guruve. Like most sculptors, she started-off by providing assistance to her elder brother. Her first tasks were to give the finished sculptures a fine polishing. Due to her intense interest for sculpting, it did not take her long for to start sculpting her own pieces. She started sculpting creations (mostly faces), then birds, flowers and then many others. Queenie was the first woman to sculpt in her community. Initially she faced some discouraging remarks. Now there are six women sculpting in her area.
In 1997 Queenie was invited by Norbet Simmonds to sculpt at Tengenenge Gallery in Guruve, where she worked until 2004.
Queenie mostly produces creative and abstract art. She enjoys the work and is always looking forward to producing better works each time she starts creating a new art form. She mostly works on serpentine and springstone. Her works have been sent to diverse countries such as the Netherlands, Spain, USA, South Africa, etc.
She also has an interest to become involved in workshops where she could teach both men and women how to sculpt.
Nicholas Tandi was born on January 6,1948 in Zimbabwe. Nicholas has a talent of carving and he is very creative with stones. He is a first- generation artist who started carving sculptures at Nyarutsetso Art Centre in 1965. Reverend Canaan Paterson spotted his talent and assisted him in the early development of his career.
Nicholas likes working on hard stones, mainly verdite, springstone, opal and serpertines. While Nicholas is widely known for his verdite bursts, he also does abstract and figurative art. He is happily married and has a family consisting of five children. Two of his children, Tandai and Washington have followed his footsteps and they are on their way to becoming world-renowned artists Nicholas has also taught his two younger brothers how to carve and earn a living from the trade. These are James and Lazarus Tandi. The Tandi’s are famous artists whose works are found all over the world. Nicholas sculptures have also been exhibited in numerous distinguishes galleries in Zimbabwe and overseas.
Victor was educated up to Junior secondary level. He is a self-taught artist with a very unique style of figurative and abstract art. He has qualified to enter the annual Zimbabwe Heritage exhibition since 1987 and his works have frequently received high accolade. In 1990 he was placed third in a competition that was held by the Zimbabwe Development Bark and his Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe. Robert G. Mugabe, then presented the prize to him.
Being a soft-spoken man, it is perhaps fitting that a sculpture of his entitled `Silence is Golden` is a permanent collection of the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Mike Tyson, the late Miles Davis and actor Danny Glover also own pieces entitled The Boxer, Musician and Spiritual Flower, respectively, from Victor Mutongwizo. Galleries in USA, France, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, South Africa, Britian, Guatemala and Singapore also own some of his sculptures.
Influenced by nature, literature and broad imagination, Victor produces very unique sculptures. Besides Shona sculpting, Victor enjoys reading, martial art and listening to music.
David was born in Mutare on February 2, 1946. He did his sub A and B at Fandle primary school in Penahlonga. He later moved to St. Werburghs school and completed his standard six. David wanted to go further with education but due to financial resources, he was forced out of school. He is now a father of six, three boys and three girls.
While at school, David started sculpting funny and lovely sculptures at the age of 15. He was helped a lot by his brother John Gwatirwa who taught him how to make good abstracts. In 1969 he went to Victoria Falls and worked for the Victoria Falls Craft village for two years. In 1971, he proved that he was one of the best Shona stone sculptors in Rhodesia. This is when he joined Canon Paterson Craft soon after leaving the Victoria Falls Craft Village. His work has now risen to new heights of maturity, originality and definite a talent worthy of adding to the status of outstanding Zimbabwean stone sculptors.
Gideon Umera was born July 30, 1964 in Mutare, he is the first born in a family of three boy and two girls. Being the first born, Gideon was faced with the challenge of helping to fund the schooling of two of his brothers and one sister. He did his primary education at Elin Mission in Penhalonga. He went on to do his education at Mutare and Seke the two high schools in Chitungwiza. He finished his secondary education in1985. He then he worked as a primary school teacher for six years.
Gideon like elephants. He sought information about the way of life of the elephant and found it to be quite fascinating. As he continued to sculpture on weekends and school holidays; he realized that he was earning more money sculpting than teaching. Gideon left temporary teaching in 1992 for full-time sculpting.
Gideon started working with the Nyamayaro brothers in 1993. He was taught how to carve heads and figures during the period from 1994-2001. He currently sculpts animals (elephants, hippo and rhinos), heads and figures. He likes working on hard stones such as verdite, springstone, serpentines and butter jade. It is therefore not surprising Gideon Umera’s objective in sculpting is to become one of the best international sculptors of elephants.
Lincoln was born January 18, 1975 in Highfield, Harare, Zimbabwe. He is the youngest in a family of four. His parents are from Mutoko and he is of the Soko Murehwa (monkey) totem.
He went to school in Arcadia, Harare. He worked with Denny Kanyemba until he became a solo artist.
His love and great dedication to Shona cultural heritage and his imaginative ability resulted in his works being of the highest quality. Lincoln bases his works on day to day events of life and he focuses mainly on facial expressions. “I think that God gave me the talent and courage to carve so as to revive the slowly vanishing Shona cultural heritage for the sake of future generations”.
Thomas Zinyeka was born in 1972 in Masvingo Province. Thomas and his parents later relocated to Gokwe North District of Zimbabwe. Being the sixth child in a family of eight, Thomas completed his primary education in the Nembudziya rural area of Gokwe (1980-1986). Upon moving to Harare in 1987, he fell in love with Shona stone sculpture through his brother Gladman Zinyeka (now late). St. Mary’s Mission in Chitungwiza for his secondary education in 1987, but due to his insatiable appetite for sculpting, attendance at school fell short, he decided to devote himself full-time to sculpting.
He adores expressing his feelings from deep down in his heart on stones of varying hardness such as springstone, fruit serpentine, cobalt, dolomite and opal too mention a few. His works have been exhibited in countries like Belgium, USA, UK, Frances and Germany.
Thomas’ major achievement
1995 – Heritage National Gallery Exhibition
1996 – Group Exhibition, Cafmeyer Gallery, Belgium
1998 – Group Exhibition, Kubatana Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia USA
1998 – Exhibition at Sango Art Gallery, Leuven, Belgium
Raymond Chirambadare (1964-2006)
Raymond was born on January 1, 1964 in Ruaspe, which is in Manicaland province. He did his primary education at St. Joseph Primary School in Rusape, Because his parents were poor, he could not go for his secondary education due to lack of financial resources.
Mr. Chirambadare was happily married and had five kids. Fungai was his first born and a notable sculptor at age seventeen.
Raymond had a keen eye for art while he was in school. He used this skill when he lost one of his eyes in a tragic boxing accident. After this tragic incident he started sculpting in 1988 in Chitungwiza. The late master Sculptor Albert Mamvura inspired him. Albert taught him the basic skills of sculpturing. Raymond specializes in figurative and abstract pieces His favorite stones were green Verdite and Opal.
Richard Chirambadare was born on 25 September 1969, in Makoni, Rusape. He is fourth born in a family of nine children, three boys and six girls. He attended St Joseph's Primary School. He then did part of his Secondary education at Zengeza 3 High School, where he only did forms one and two. He could not go beyond that stage due to lack of funds to pay for his School fees. His mother and father had separated a few years back and his mother became the breadwinner. She worked as a vegetable vendor to raise money but this money was not enough for all the kids. Richard would assist his mother to sell vegetables in Chitungwiza.
Richard had to learn to work at an early age in order to raise additional money for various purposes. He started working for Lazarus Takawira as sand papering and polishing Lazarus' sculptures. He recalls that during this time, he was once given a raw stone to produce a sculpture without success. The problem was that Lazarus would not allow his subordinates to produce anything that resembled his works. Anything resembling his works would be destroyed. After stopping school at Form 2, Richard Chirambadare went to work for Technifix as a machine operator. His brother David Chirambadare then encouraged him to start sculpting because he could get better financial rewards than the salary he was being paid. David was younger than Raymond, Richard's other brother and Second generation Shona Sculptor, but it is David who had started sculpting around 1983. When Richard left work, he joined Albert Nathan Mamvura and worked for him as an assistant. It is during this period that he was given a raw stone that he used to produce his first sculpture that he sold at a good price. When Richard eventually left Mamvura he joined his brother David who were already running his own sculpture garden. Raymond was still sculpting from home at that time. Richard and Raymond have been working at the Garden started by David ever since his death until today.
The Chirambadare brothers are specialists in production abstract art forms, One rarely sees faces in their pieces and they like to include a lot of holes in the main body of their sculptures. So far, Richard has participated in local group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe and African Heritage
Elliott Katombera was born in 1974 in Harare. He was encouraged and inspired by his cousin Robert Chimungwa who is a full time sculptor based in South Africa.
He specialize in heads and busts mostly from the Verdite stone. He has worked with Nicholas Tandi, Mathew Gidi and Everisto Kakweza all of them amongst Zimbabwe’s finest fine art