Sculptures Botswana raises the bar

An exquisite sculpture of President Ian Khama
An exquisite sculpture of President Ian Khama

In an effort to perfect their craft, three talented artists have pulled forces to ensure that they professionalise their art and produce works that will appeal to a broader market.

The three, who have formalised their collaboration by establishing Sculptures Botswana, have set their sights on offering services of creating statues and sculptures of icons or heroes as well as take requests.  Sculptures Botswana comprises of three artists from Modipane village, namely Shango Sibasa, Keemenao Sibasa, and Maina Sibasa. Husband and wife, Shango and Keemenao together with Shango’s brother have taken a challenge to be some of the leading artists in the craft of creating statues and sculptures.

The trio, with different artistic skills, has already produced an exquisite sculpture of President Ian Khama. Looking at the sculpture one cannot help but notice that the creators of the piece paid particular attention to detail, and put a lot of thought into the artwork. 

The sculpture of course resembles the President to the last detail, including his signature afro-hairstyle, bushy eyebrows, and moustache.

Maina explained to Arts & Culture that prior to concentrating their efforts on sculpting, they produced and traded in leather products and crafts.

“About six years ago, Shango proposed that we should concentrate on our ability to make sculptures, statues and monuments.  We have exhausted our thinking capabilities in making the portrait of His Excellency, (President Khama). Although it took so long, we are able to do a sculpture of anyone within weeks,” Maina said.

He explained that the sculpture is made of cement and polished with an adhesive called Pratley putty, which ensures durability of the product for over 20 years. He also noted that the hair on the sculpture can be combed. The trio dug deep into their pockets to make the statue of the President, and did not receive any funding for the project.  Since the trio were determined to see their project finished, they decided to use their money to make something that they would all be proud of.

“It’s not everyone who is willing to put in money in something they have a challenge believing in. With this said, we had to use every pula we possessed to sponsor our project,” he said.

Maina said the team has now decided to specialise in making sculptures, taxidermy, and monuments.

 Maina proudly said they have a dream of being one of the most competitive sculpture and statue-making companies.  He said the trio is open to making sculptures for individuals, companies, and churches just to mention a few.

“Our next project is unbelievable, but assured.  We are currently working on a sculpture that can move, react and speak with accurate lip synchronisation,” Maina said.

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