BY CHIEDZA MAZHANGARA
INDEED as one Bible verse puts it, “no prophet is accepted in his own home town”, Zimbabwean sculptor Dominic Benhura’s works have wowed many across the seas in far away lands of the Americas.
The people of Carmel city, Indiana in the United States, have declared May 14 as the Dominic Benhura Day. Wow! That is one hell of an achievement for a man who has never looked back since he was 12 years old.
Ever since putting Zimbabwe on the international stage with his sculptures decades ago Benhura has been a pride of the nation.
Carmel city mayor James Brainard bestowed the honour on Benhura on May 14 during a public unveiling ceremony of his new sculpture Swing Me Higher Mama.
Benhura, who is also the director for Tengenenge Art gallery in Guruve told NewsDay Life & Style that receiving such an honour was quite a humbling experience for him.
“The Dominic Benhura Day is a day which has been set aside by the city’s mayor and it is about celebrating my art career which they liked in relation with the city‘s cultural diversity goal. It is humbling and I believe it is only through grace since it is something one can neither plan nor ask for,” he said.
He added: “It is good for our country to be recognised as a formidable cultural actor globally.”
The sculptor is popularly known for his mother and child stone sculptures which won him international recognition.
Benhura, who has always encouraged other artists, said artists should strive to focus on originality, consistency and discipline while taking their works one step at a time.
“About the general art industry, we need protection from piracy which is problematic across all art disciplines in our country. I hope art will be taken seriously just like stock theft,” he said.
Although Benhura is strongly biased towards mother and child sculptures, he has also done some images for political icons who include the late former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, the late South African President Nelson Mandela as well as former Zambian and Namibia presidents.
The sculptor who has almost four decades in the industry has also been assisting other rising artists through his Dominic Studio gallery.
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