The original sculptors are termed as First Generation – there are only a handful who are still alive today and these artists are 70 years old and above. The Second Generation are around 50 years and the Third Generation, 30 years plus.
Emerging now are the fourth generation who are reaching their 20’s. Of course there are lots of children aspiring to be sculptors too, here are First Generation Sylvester Mubayi’s grandchildren sculpting!
The artist’s age, experience, skill and talent along with exhibition experience will all influence the price of the sculpture, hence some pieces are more expensive even though they are the same size as another…
Because this skill is passed down in families, there are a lot of sculptors whose surnames are the same and it’s worth knowing who the ‘original’ sculptor was! Several most-known generations of sculpting families are the Nyanhongo’s, Mashaya’s, Mukomberanwa’s and the Mariga’s.
Due to the patriarchal society in Zimbabwe, the traditional female role is to stay at home with the kids, cook and clean. Hence there are only a handful of female sculptors.
The women that have ventured into sculpture deserve a medal. Not only do they have to be strong in the arm, but also strong in the head too! Quite often they receive resentment all round, from their colleagues in the field – as quite often because of their ‘minority’ buyers tend to prefer buying their works first. Then at home from their husbands who resent the fact they are independent and in most occasions earning more than they are…
Both the late Colleen Madamombe and Maud Mariga pictured below, first started off ‘assisting’ their husbands.