Lazarus Takawira born in 1952, in Nyanga in the eastern part of Zimbabwe, is the youngest of three sculpting brothers. His mother, Amai, was also a sculptor.
Physically a massive man, his reputation is now as large as that of his deceased older brothers Bernard and the John. Of his inspiration he says: I only sculpt women.
They are the most important sex because they are the source of all life, of all beauty, and of all joy for man. Women drive everything in our lives and as a sculptor, with every work I do I pay homage to the women in my life, who have made me what I am now.
Lazarus work is held in the permanent and overseas collections of the Zimbabwean National Gallery, as well as various public collections around the world, including the Musee du Rodin in Paris, The World Bank in New York, The Africa Museum in Belgium and the Museum of Bombay, India. At the Zimbabwe Heritage Exhibition during the Commonwealth Games 1990 he was presented to the Queen, whose heir, Prince Charles, has collected his work.
Celia Irving-Winter, art historian and critic, says of Lazarus work: Like his master counterparts, his brothers and Nicholas Mukomberwana, Lazarus Takawira has proved that stone sculpture made in Zimbabwe is not just the song which is sung to bring supper to the artist, but a real and finite expression of cultures within the sub region, which have both been subject to change and have recognisable and applied roots. Takawira talks about his African culture, the moveable feast which comprises his beliefs, his life experience, his historic consciousness and his sense of spiritual and familial ancestry.