HomeLife & StyleVisual artist Samhere carves for Shona culture

Visual artist Samhere carves for Shona culture

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BY TENDAI SAUTA

PRECOLONIAL Zimbabwe kings and queens were the ultimate rulers of the country and made sure that their areas of jurisdiction were well governed.

Visual artist Simon Samhere resurrects good traditions through stone and wooden figurines of kings, queens, traditional fashion, and working men and women.

Samhere’s work is unique with its fine finish and thorough attention to detail which makes his motifs build a talking impression to the audience.

“Kings and queens were responsible for good governance and provision of goods and services to their people while upholding unity and ubuntu. In the past, communities controlled their values and norms, a thing which we all want to be restored,” Samhere said.

“People should easily see the purpose of fashion as giving protection and beauty to people through artistic work.”

Samhere boasts of having raised his family and developing his rural home through earnings from his artworks sold both locally and internationally.

“I express myself through reflecting on my adorable past by carving on butterjade, verdite, green opal, fruit serpentine and cobalt stones while ebony, iron wood and mukwa are my preferred choices for wood carving,” he said.

With a belief rooted in his Honde rural home, Samhere believes art should reflect people’s wishes and aspirations as a community.

“From my upbringing and extensive visits to Mozambique and South Africa, art should reflect people’s values and what they wish for,” he said.

Now in his 50s, Samhere blends past experiences with future insights into his artistic works.

“I like uplifting traditions while adding a sense of modernity for the purposes of accommodating audiences’ preferences.

“I took inspiration for metal craft from my late blood brother Philemon,” he said.

Samhere believes working at Chitungwiza Arts Centre since 2014 has moulded him into a mature artist.

“I was privileged to be allocated space at Chitungwiza Arts Centre and will always make the best out of it.”

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