Witness Bonjesi - African (Shona)
Witness Bonjesi was born in 1975 in Mutoko, Mudzi. He did his primary and secondary education in Harare where his brother, the late Lamech, was staying. Lamech was already a sculptor and inspired Witness to become one as well. He did his first carvings in 1997. He exhibited in California in 2002 at the Shamwari Gallery, and at the Zuva Gallery in 2003. He also showed his works during the World Economic Forum in 2003. Zimbabwe Witness Bonjisi was born September 25th, 1976 in the small Zimbabwean town of Mudzi, Mutoko district. The second child born in a family of seven, he grew up in Domboshava, where he completed his primary education. The family then moved to Mabvuku, on the outskirts of Harare where he attended Tafara High, played football and enjoyed art classes. In 1992, inspired by his brother, the late Lameck Bonjisi, and the well renowned 1st generation Zimbabwean carver, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, Witness began his sculpting career. He apprenticed with these two master sculptors for four years and by 1996, he began to successfully produce his own work. In 1999, he went to work on his own and was soon to hold his first exhibitions in San Francisco and Phoenix in 2002. Witness creates very contemporary sculpture unlike that of the earlier Shona artists which tended to be far more primitive in nature. He has developed a great sense of line, inherited most likely from Mukomberanwa, and his works are powerful and striking to the viewer. His careful use of the beautiful stones available to him produces breathtaking creations. He says he bases the subject matter on his intuitive sense using the shape of the stone as his guide thus enabling him to create his works of art through his vivid imagination. His style is unique and creative and his sculptures can be found in private collections and galleries around the world. Witness married in 1994 and now lives in Harare. He has two children, a boy and a girl. Exhibitions: • 2002 Zuva Gallery, Arizona, USA • 2002 Shamwari Gallery, Oakland, SF, USA • 2003 World Economic Forum, Switzerland.