Percy Kuta was born on February 21, 1982 at Mvurwi in Zimbabwe. He was the second born in a family of six – four boys and two twin girls. He did his primary and secondary education at Saint Phillips High School in Guruve, and completed the ordinary level in 1998, but couldn’t continue with his education because of financial constraints. His father was a farm manager until land invasion & nationalization. Percy is married to Takudzwa Butizha with two kids aged six and two.
In art Percy was much inspired by nature ever since his childhood when he admired the changing shapes and movement of clouds, shadows of trees, water flowing in the rivers, the formation of stars in the sky forming galaxies, and smoke oozing out of hollow fire wood used for cooking food.
Percy’s early years as an artist
Percy started sculpting in 2002 with home-made tools. He taught himself and his brother how to sculpt. It was tough using tools that did not take into consideration typical working positions. An even bigger challenge were his parents who didn’t want him to become an artist, but to complete school and to get a white collar job. However, his mind and dreams were opposite.
Under pressure from his parents Percy had to look for a temporary job since he couldn’t go to college when his father became unemployed. Percy worked for a telecom parastatal at a town near the border to Botswana. There he meet people who were selling curious, fine art sculpted in wood. He saw a great opportunity and relocated his sculptures and his brother’s works there and in 2004 they exhibited their art there. The economic situation forced Percy to quit his job and concentrate on sculpting and that ended up being his “college”; far from parental interference “because when you sculpt you need a free mind to concentrate”.
Moving to Tengenenge
In 2008 Percy made a big sale to some American buyers who promised to promote him, but nothing came of this. However, they advised him to go and work where artists are grouped and where art collectors visit regularly. At that time Percy and his brother also realized that they where running out of raw stones and so they decided to move to Tengenenge, birthplace of the modern stone sculpting movement and artist village in Zimbabwe.
Since Percy started in Tengenenge in 2010 he has learned a lot and has sold sculptures to collectors from Europe, Asia, America, and even some African countries. By now his parents were really appreciating what he was doing.
Awards and Recognition
• Percy has been recognized with national awards and his art is being sold in galleries in the US and Europe.
• In 2017 he was awarded the first position as “Most Promising Prominent Artist” under the banner Africa Artistic. This was an exhibition held by Amanda Brock, an American collector, at Chitungwiza Art center in Harare, Zimbabwe.
• In 2013 he received a certificate at an exhibition at the University of Bindura at Pamvura in Mvurwi.
• Over the past three years (2017-19) Percy has been teaching three students at workshops in Tengenenge. His first student was from Germany and the other two were from the Netherlands. The duration of the workshops was from two weeks to a month.