Conducive environment ideal for arts growth: Gurupira

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Costa-“Guru”-Gurupira

BY TENDAI SAUTA
INNOVATIVE visual artist and member of the Tafara Mabvuku Arts Association (TAMAA) Costa “Guru” Gurupira has called on arts organisations to set up viable structures to enhance business growth.

Gurupira, the founder of Guru gallery, told NewsDay Life & Style that he got motivating life lessons from his career’s ups and downs which he would use in counselling others in the arts sector.

“I started working on rapoko which is a softer stone than serpentine and then went on to serpentine, spring stones, green opals and granite stones in New Mabvuku, Harare,” he said.

“I applied for a home industrial stand from the council and got it in 1998. I then moved to build the Guru Gallery.”

Sadly, about seven years after setting up Guru Gallery, Gurupira lost his heritage and wealth to demolitions under Operation Murambatsvina carried out by government.

“In June 2005, the heavens collapsed upon me. The tsunami razed down my gallery and it was unbelievable. I lost about 180 pieces of sculptures to the clean-up exercise. A similar disaster occurred at Newlands site where I was also displaying some of the stuff,” he said.

“As a way to move on with life, I then joined Fawcett Security company as a guard for almost five years and later joined Safeguard Security for another three years before I eventually joined TAMAA in 2013.”

Gurupira said the money he used to pay joining fee for membership to TAMAA was from a piece job for digging a fish pond.

“I was suspended at TAMAA in 2014 after being accused of not attending fellow artist Raphael Mavhudzi’s funeral. Although I attended the funeral and the burial, unfortunately, the majority said I was supposed to spend a week at the funeral in line with Shona cultural beliefs, which, however, are not in line with my beliefs,” he said.

“I was later called back by TAMAA to finish my work after they had a consultative meeting.”

As a visual artist, Gurupira is famed for figurines of human and animal abstracts.

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