BORN and bred between crocodile-infested Mutirikwi and Popoteke rivers in Hama village in Chirumhanzu, Masvingo, Tawengwa Zimunhu never had a chance of coming across a crocodile.
Report by Jairos Saunyama
Zimunhu grew up listening to the tales of the fiery reptile, creating pictures of the alligator in his mind out of curiosity but, never expected that one day he would end up being a “crocodile artist”.
The 36-year-old rural artiste is the man behind the 2,4 metre crocodile piece that has left many in Ruwa wondering how he managed to mount the awesome piece.
It took Zimunhu six months to produce the fine work using wire, paper, adhesive and stone. Its inner frame is made of wire and then coated with papier-maĉhė before attaching colourful stones.
Apart from the gigantic piece, Zimunhu also crafts small crocodiles.
In an interview at his house where the talented artist operates from, Zimunhu said he never dreamt that one day he would come up with such kinds of pieces.
“Apart from my rural life, it was also a film titled Last Feast of the Crocodile that fuelled my love for art. I formed an art company called Gadigaart and started making smaller pieces,” said Zimunhu.
He said in October 2010 he came up with the idea of making a replica of a real crocodile putting into consideration its size and color and it took him six months to produce the complete piece.
Zimunhu added that the material was cheap, as stones were always readily available all over. His main target were crocodile farms where he would most likely get a ready market.
“I don’t fix prices for myself, but customers bid for the pieces. As for the 1,04m crocodile’s bidding starts from $3 000, but for the big one, I don’t know, customers place the bids,” he said.
Despite being talented, Zimunhu has never exhibited at national level, but has ambitions to do so.
“Ruwa artists always hold exhibition at Chiremba Primary School football ground and I am included, but my wish is that one day I will make it to the National Gallery of Zimbabwe,” he said.