Discovery of a Formerly Unknown Modern Zimbabwean Stone Sculptor – Jonathan Matimba

This special exhibition has been extended until Christmas 2018.

‘The Yawn Dog’, ‘The Mighty Eagle’ and ‘Hongwe’s Ponder’ are a few of the fascinating titles given to Jonathan Matimba’s sculptures on display at the Rhodes Nyanga Historical Exhibition Rhodes Museum) at present.  ‘Seed Pod’, ‘Morning Love’ and ‘Flying Dream’ describe some of the modern pieces of work, crafted by our Nyanga and Claremont sculptors, which are also on display, giving an interesting contrast to the onlooker. Most of the modern artists are sons or grandsons of famous sculptors of the last century – Mariga, Manyandure, Takawira, Sande and Chaudiringa, many of whom were brought up in the Nyatate area of Nyanga North, and sold their work locally and overseas.

At the Official Opening of the Exhibition in August 2018, Dr Jonathan Zilberg, Associate Research Scholar at The Centre of African Studies, University of Illinois, gave an exhilarating talk on the history of Nyanga sculpture, mentioning the importance of women such as Miriam Mbwaburi, who sold woven reed mats at the local hotels in the ‘50s. Miriam was encouraged by the Rural Council to establish the Nyanga Craft Village and to invite potters and sculptors to join her.

Dr. Zilberg explained to the audience, which consisted of local folk, sculptors and their families, some important points which make sculptures appealing to buyers.  During the exhibition he spoke with many of the artists, encouraging them and giving helpful advice

Since the exhibition opening Dr Zilberg has compiled a power point presentation entitled:

 Discovery of a  Formerly  Unknown Modern Zimbabwean Stone Sculptor –  Jonathan Matimba (1940 1994)

If you are interested in reading the presentation, you can do so as it is an open access document posted at

Please note:

The opinions provided by the author are not necessarily the opinions expressed by the NTZ.

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