Lovemore Meya Arts Correspondent
Sculpture is often regarded as a non-rewarding profession in these hard times with a number of people opting to venture into different fields to eke out a living.
However, this is not the case with the Chikuruwo family that hails from Wedza. Stone sculpture has transformed the family’s lifestyle as three stone-carvers from the clan pursue the art profitably.
Father of the family Simorio Chikuruwo of Chikomba started following the art and taught his wife and child to follow suit.
His wife Tambudzai Makuyana (43) is now an expert in the art while his second born son Remember (26) has also made art his profession.
His wife and son had to continue with his trade after he was unable to fend for his family when he became ill with leg pains.
Together, Simorio and Tambudzai are blessed with four children and they are known for their talent at Chitungwiza Arts Centre.
The family sculptors have done a number of pieces through which they eke a living.
They carve birds frogs, and bowls among other pieces.
A great master in the genre, Simorio now focuses more on mining the hard green stones from their rural home in Wedza.
Tambudzai and Remember carve stones into beautiful frogs which are exported to overseas countries.
In an interview, Remember took this reporter into his journey as a sculptor, although like any other child, his dream was to pursue with his studies but all was not rosy in the family.
The soft-spoken lad learnt the ropes after growing up observing his father carving the stones.
“My wish was to become a doctor, however, economic constraints forced me to chose a chisel and harmer,” said Remember.
“After I completed my Ordinary Level studies in 2006, things were tough and I had to venture into full time sculpting to help my family in 2007. This was after my father fell ill and could no longer be able to fend for us. We had take up the challenge to finance my young siblings who are still going to school.”
As a talented hunter, Remember got his inspiration from wildlife where he picked his ideas from animals like fish, ducks, frogs and birds like owls.
His mother’s call into sculpturing was also influenced by her husband’s condition.
“We used to survive on menial jobs but after my husband fell ill, I decided to carry on from where he had left,” said Tambudzai.
“Now I can make any piece before me by looking at the picture since it runs the family. Life is now enjoyable since I am able to send my children to school and on a good season we earn about $700 to $2 000. I spend two weeks here and visit home where the rest of my family is and we rent three rooms in Chitungwiza,” she said.
For all this time Tambudzai has been doing the hard task can distinguish the types of stones they use that include leopard rocks spring stone and white opal from Domboshava.
The family’s history in stone sculpting began when Simorio of Chikomba district started carving his name at the age of 12, deriving his inspiration from the history of the Shona culture.