Wilbert Samapundo- African (Shona)

Wilbert Samapundo was born in 1976 in the Eastern Highland town of Nyanga where he did his primary and secondary education. His totem is Soko, the monkey. At a young age, he was accepted into his uncle's family who lived in Chief Saunyama’s village. He was like most rural Shona boys. His childhood was spent herding cattle and hunting game with dogs and at the age of 15, became the village blacksmith fashioning axe-heads and spearheads. Wilbert says he considers himself a Christian and belongs to the Apostolic Faith Mission. After arriving in the Harare district, he was befriended by Moses Masaya, a well known artist, and began his apprenticeship in carving. Masaya taught him to look upon art as a “one-of” stressing the importance of originality. Masaya dislikes copying and asked him to create something unique and new. Masaya would say, "Whatever you make, if it is called art it should not be repeated again." Wilbert never forgot that lesson and remains obsessed with the idea while he is struggling with the stone. He has since tried hard to stay true to this philosophy Wilbert's sculptures are usually distinguished by their heads which are integration pieces or abstracts. He has exhibited in Mutupo Gallery, National Gallery in South Africa and in New York. Wilbert now runs his own sculpture garden and has a number of assistants working for him. In 1997, he married Patricia and they have one girl and one boy. He’s a family man, and during his time off, enjoys spending time with them.
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