Tinashe was born on 18/09/72 in the Guruve district, which is situated in the Northwest of Zimbabwe. He was the fourth born child in a family of seven and is from the Shona tribe. Tinashe is married and has one son.
Tinashe was instantly drawn to the brightly coloured sculpture and was soon creating his own pieces. It was not long before his works attracted the eye of the late Brighton Sango, one of Zimbabwe’s leading second generation sculptors, who apart from doing his own sculpture was also running a small gallery dedicated to helping younger, less established sculptors. Tinashe received a lot of encouragement from Sango and still draws on it today, whenever he feels his commitment weaken. Many sculptors in the region thought that Tinashe was possessed by “art Spirits” because his works were so creative and highly commended by Sango.
Tinashe’s work is very influenced by his natural surroundings, his sculpture reflecting the organic shapes found in mountains, clouds or flowers, his volumetric forms indicate a keen sense of awareness of his environment, he is not copying nature but merely studying it. He is now a full time sculptor having been sculpting for eight years and supporting himself from the sale f his works. As far as his influences are concerned, apart from nature he admires the work of Bernard Matamera and the late Gladman Zinyeka.
Tinashe has been working with Chapungu Sculpture Park and is presently under contract with them for a year, where Chapungu will do their utmost to promote and display his works overseas and in all their exhibitions.
He learnt the basics of stone carving with Boira Mteki and assisted him for a six-month period – still recalling the first sculpture he assisted on, a sitting chameleon from green serpentine. He has also assisted Agnes Nyanhongo, Arthur Fata, Cosmas Muchenje and Garrison Machinjili.
In 1992 his sculpture Roots Woman was highly commended at the annual Zimbabwe Heritage exhibition and later that year he began to work on his own. In 1993 Celestino joined the Chapungu Artists Residency Programme and is one of the core groups of sculptors who have been associated with Chapungu and this programme.
Celestino has overcome much personal hardship and difficulty to arrive where he is today. His optimistic spirit is reflected in his sculpture, they are full of life and make bold naturalistic statements. His torsos, which have become increasingly popular, are a fine tribute to women. He says he likes women with good shapes and he certainly pays homage to them through his sculpture. Buxom, lively and full of movement, these torsos do not follow any academic rules, they are not constructed to a formula, and their sheer power of expression is indeed a joy to behold.
Having worked for a number of varying sculptors, Celestino has emerged with a style that is easily identifiable as his own and over the last few years has been a major part of many exhibitions. Always consistent and hard working, he is really committed to his sculpture and hopes that one day he will be in a position to help other young artists, just like Boira Mteki helped him.