Tonderai Sowa was born in 1978 in Nyanga in eastern Zimbabwe. He began sculpting with his step-father, Julius Chinhoyi, in 1995. He worked with Julius for two years and another two years with Rosemary Chakanyuka in Chitungwiza before taking the decision to work alone as a full-time artist in 2002.
“Being an artist is a very good job. My stepfather, Julius Chinhoyi, inspired me. He always taught me to socialise with people, and by so doing I ended up doing everything with love. When I started carving, love became the theme of my sculptures.”
Since Tonderai Sowa was ‘discovered’ by Guruve (the Shona Sculpture Gallery’s ‘sister’ gallery based in the UK) in 2010, his career has accelerated in leaps and bounds. Highlights include:
- Oct 2013 – second prize in the Art exhibition and competition ‘Celebration’, held at the Arts Centre to celebrate its 15th Anniversary
- Feb-Apr 2014 – one of four Zimbabwean artists (along with Itayi Mupumha) invited to participate in an Artist Exchange at Sonkala Yonkala in Luanda, Angola with Angolan artist Jao Mayembe
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