Shadreck Chatsama (Shadu) was born in Rusape, Zimbabwe in 1948. He was born deaf, and his early years were very difficult as there were no facilities or educational assistance available at this time to someone in this situation. He was raised in a family of seven children which was a great help, and he learned a rudimentary form of sign language which he uses to communicate with those close to him. Shadreck turned to sculpting at a young age, realising that sculpting was a perfect form of expression in a silent world where other forms of communication were very limited. It soon became apparent that Shadu had great talent, and by the time he was 22 years old, he was ready to move to Harare as a full time artist. Since that time he has become one of Zimbabwe’s leading animal sculptors, his work displaying sensitivity to detail and form second to none due to his heightened senses of touch and sight. Truly an example of somebody who has turned adversity into success, Shadu has proved that much can be achieved through developing one’s strengths and persisting against the odds. His work now adorns the homes of art collectors worldwide, including the home of author Wilbur Smith amongst others.
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