A metal sculptor based in Maun aspires to leave a mark in the industry by teaching the youth all about his trade.
The Zimbabwean born self-taught metal artist and sculptor, Kudzayi Kibon Mutambirwa 35, was bred in Botswana makes sculptures of different sizes using scrap metal.
Through his passion and great knowledge of the artwork, Mutambirwa believes he can also empower the youth – by imparting his skills on them, a gesture which he believes will also help create employment opportunities for them.
Mutambirwa told The Weekender that from his travels across the country he has not come across anyone doing the same kind artwork locally, hence he came up with the idea of teaching more people especially the youth about metal sculpting.
The artist believes that he is a great inspiration to his community as the people in his neighborhood are always eager to learn more about his work. Mutambirwa indicated that his love for people has also made him believe that he can make a difference in the society because he is always willing to share knowledge.
The artist’s vision is to open a small workshop where he trains the youth in order to engage more people who will then start their own businesses.
The passionate artist usually takes a period of two to three months to complete a sculpture and he completed his first one in 2017 which was that of an elephant. His work is displayed around the country mostly in lodges and guest houses with his other eye catching works displayed in Maun’s new mall.
With his largest sculpture being a 10 meters long ‘Motswere’ tree placed in the Central Business District (CBD) in Gaborone, the artist decided to venture into metal sculpting as metal has no size limit and believes that the bigger the sculpture, the more attractive it is.
Narrating his artistic journey, he revealed that he started his metal artwork when he came to Maun in 2011 after learning sculpting out of passion, from non-other than his father.
The artist noted that he comes from a family of artists – where they were taught by their father who owned a curio shop in Francistown selling wood curved sculptures.
Mutambirwa said as he grew up watching his father carving, he developed the urge of doing something different and that is when he came to Maun and ventured into the metal sculpting. He believes the idea was a gift from God as he taught himself the metal sculpting skill from scratch with the little light grasped from carving.
“Initially, I made small sculptures like butterflies and birds until I grasped the whole idea when I suddenly started building very large objects that are portrayed in lodges and malls around Botswana,” he said.
Besides some of the challenges he faces that include the time taken to make large sculptures, the focus needed, the funds needed to get the material, the risk in welding and the much exposure to sunlight, Mutambirwa always gets his work done on time.