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Crispen Chakanyuka

Birthdate: 1943

Died: October 2002

Birthplace: Garuve, District of Zimbabwe

Education: Completed his schooling in 1960

Crispen met Joram Ariga (through John Takawira) who taught him to sculpt. There was not much room for people to stay at Mariga's studio, so Joram sent Chakanyuka to see Frank McEwen at the National Gallery, in 1963. McEwen referred Chakanyuka to the Nyarutsesto Art Centre where he spent two years sculpting and instructing young artists. Once he had established himself he returned to his home in Guruve and set up his studio.

In 1966, an incident occurred that was to influence the history of Zimbabwean stone sculpture. Tom Bloomfield, the owner of Tengenenge Farm in Guruve, had seen Chakanyuka's sculpture and asked him to please teach him the principals of stone carving. Chakanuka then drew Bloomfield's attention to the rich deposits of serpentine on his farm, highlighting its potential for other sculptors. With the discovery of serpentine on the farm, over night Bloomfield turned his farm workers into sculptors and the Tengenenge Art Community was born. Chakanyuka stayed on in Tengenenge for several months and taught Barankinya and Lemon Moses, amongst others, the basics of stone sculpture.

In 1994, he took up the opportunity of joining the artist residency program at Chapungu Sculpture Park and began to sculpt full time. Until his death he was actively involved in the program.

Chakanyukas work is part of the permanent collection at the Afrika Museum, Berg en Dal, Netherlands.

Exhibitions: Chakanyuka has exhibited in four international exhibitions and has participated in numerous sculptors' workshops.


Crispen Chakanyuka's work on Artists4Orphans
Title: Eagle Protecting Family Category: Sculptures Price: $0

Title: Black Vulture Category: Sculptures Price: $1400

Title: Pregnant Woman Category: Sculptures Price: $4800

"Fertility is the sign for many blessings. Families rely on fertility for survival. Be it through offspring to help feed the family or in the field for a good crop. Fertility is a strong force in our life in Zimbabwe."