Canaan Ngandu - African (Shona)

Canaan Musiyiwa Ngandu was born on June 6th, 1972 to a family of eight in Goromonzi, Zimbabwe. He is of the Soko Murimirwa (Mukanya) totem. His first rural home was in Chiweshe Mashonganyika kraal Musiyiwa Village, but he grew up in Chitungwiza. He went to his primary school at Seke 11 Primary School between 1979 and 1985, and his secondary level at Seke 5 High School from 1986 to 1989. After school he worked as an assistant upholsterer in Msasa industrial Area until 1991, giving him a sense of good craftsmanship.

Canaan's career as an artist started early in 1992 when he started working with his friend, the artist John Type, as an assistant in Type’s studio. After only a year as an assistant, Type encouraged him to begin working the stone himself. As friends they used to argue about compositional choices. In late 1993 Canaan produced his first sculpture – a stork bird – with the assistance of John. Not keeping only to figurative sculpture, his second work was purely abstract. Canaan in particular wished to emulate the work of the late Kennedy Nigari and Masaya, who are among the second and first generations of Shona sculptors respectively. As Canaan said: "I do not hesitate to say it is the works of Masaya and Nigari with courageous words of friend John Type that has molded and shaped me to be an artist I am today."

Canaan enjoys visionary and creative carving that combines nature with human feeling, as well as combining both modern and cultural lifestyles. He carves abstract figures, birds and heads. His sculptures are displayed across the world in Holland, Belgium, USA, United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Germany and around Zimbabwe. Canaan is happily married to Fenia and has a son Tashinga and daughter Chido.

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