Fanizani Akuda dies

07 Feb, 2011 - 20:02 0 Views

The Herald

He was 79.
Akuda — who was one of the first generation sculptors — died on Saturday from kidney failure and hypertension.
According to Doreen Sibanda, the director of the National Art Gallery of Zimbabwe, Akuda was an “extremely family-centred man”.

“I recall many a time sitting with him and his dear beloved wife while he explained the meaning of his work.
“He would lovingly go through each and every piece lined up neatly on his shelf exploding with laughter and mirth,” said Sibanda.
She added: “Once one had made friends with Fanizani, you would never be forgotten and hence many collectors returned to visit him many times. Over the years his children came would accompany him everywhere.

“As a result, both his wife and children fully understood his work, his aspirations, dreams and this phenomenon is always a mark of a real father who has carefully nurtured his offspring to be the worthy recipients of his baton in the journey of life.”

Sibanda noted with great sorrow how Akuda became one of the most prominent artists who graced the National Gallery and shaped the direction of upcoming sculptors.
“The National Gallery mourns the sad passing of our dear artist, friend and colleague, Fanizani, a dedicated and talented artist.
“A loving husband and father who was a towering encapsulation of the best values of Zimbabwe through his genuine hospitality, unending warmth and true friendship,” she said.

Akuda was one of the first generation sculptors who shaped the direction of Zimbabwean stone sculpture.
Born in Zambia on November 11, 1949,  he worked from Tengenenge Sculpture Village in Guruve under Tom Bloemfield.

Akuda was a versatile artist who worked as a basket weaver, cotton-picker, brick maker, wood cutter and cattle herder, before Bloemfield identified his talent.
He was one of the pioneers of stone sculpture in Zimbabwe.
He is survived by six children.

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