Ndudzo: A patriarch of local sculptors

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Barnabas Ndudzo's maternal grandparents must have been astute craftspeople whose exploits were legendary in Zimbabwe's Ghandi Reserve - no wonder some of that magic rubbed off onto the current Thapong Artist of the Year Award winner.

Ndudzo says that his grandfather was a wood-carver as well as a sub-chief and whenever there was a hearing at the dhare/kgotla, he would work on his pieces while listening to the deliberations and at the end of the day he always delivered fair judgements. On the other hand, his grandmother used to weave big baskets that were used for carrying corn from the roots of a tsambatsi tree. The old woman was also good at decorating traditional huts with clay of different colours such as black, grey and yellow. The 62-year-old Ndudzo says that his father, as well as paternal uncles, were craftsmen who somehow influenced the young Ndudzo to pursue a career in the arts.
"When I was growing up in Rusape, I used to playfully slide down earth mounds and whenever I reached the feet of the mounds I would stop and model some pieces from the clay," Ndudzo recollects.

Ndudzo did his formal education at St. Faith Mission School in Rusape. The school was run by the late Welsh missionary Guy Clutton-Brock who turned it into a multi-racial community much to the chagrin of the apartheid regime. Ndudzo has fond memories of the institution and points out that it was built on a farm that played a major role in the Rhodesian liberation struggle because many freedom fighters were given free passage through it when they either launched attacks on government armies or fled from them.
"While at St. Faith Mission, I was very good at woodwork and my joints were always perfect and I used to laugh my lungs out whenever I saw other students filling theirs with sawdust," the sculptor says with a grin.

Editor's Comment
Stop the children killing madness!

The incident comes on the heels of a similar one where a father murdered his two toddlers in Francistown. As we grapple with the shock and sorrow of this loss, it is essential to address the underlying issues that led to such a horrific outcome.Our hearts go out to the innocent victims, the three boys aged 13, 10, and eight who lost their lives in circumstances that defy comprehension. Their deep cuts and untimely demise have left a scar on the...

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