Josiah Manzi

Born on the 11th November 1933 in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe, Josaih is one of the last surviving First Generation artists of Zimbabwean sculpture. He is of Malawian origin and a “Chigure” by tradition of his Yao culture (a Bantu speaking people from Southern Malawi). He started working as a builder, assisting his father, but in 1967 he met and began working for Tom Blomefield (founder of the Tengenenge Art Community). He had had experience in carving wooden masks and Tom encouraged him to sculpt in stone. He is self taught and most of his works are inspired by his spirituality, deeply rooted in his Yao culture.  This Spirituality often comes through in his sculpture with unnatural and surreal overtones. He has won several awards including NAMA. He lives and works at the Tengenenge Art Community and is married to sculptress, Jenet Manzi, also a first generation artist. His work is highly collectable.