Fanizani Akuda is a first generation artist, born November 11, 1932 in Zambia of the Chewa Tribe. In 1949, he immigrated to Zimbabwe and found work as a cotton picker, a bricklayer and a basket weaver.
In 1967, he was offered work at the Tengenenge Sculpture Community to dig stone for the sculptors from the quarry. Initially, Fanizani refused to take up sculpting himself but was eventually persuaded to do so. This was how it was done. Fanizani went to Tom Blomefield and told him that an artist had left. Tom explained that the tools had been left there for him to start sculpting. He soon became a full time sculptor.
His subjectsmatter is generally human and animal figures or animal groups. Fanizani has a very distinctive style – curved and rounded elements showing a pleasing naturalism. His work has an immediate appeal, often reflecting a sense of humor. Fanizani has been likened to Picasso in that he was always carving. Even while talking or standing his hands were always busy carving small sculptures. Fanizani’s art reflects his closeness to his traditions, to his own life experiences, how he sees and relates to people and to the natural and supernatural world. His human forms are often depicting the closeness of family ties typical of African societies. His animal forms are always created totally devoid of any malevolence or evil intent. He is a sculptor totally at peace with his creations.
Fanizani has had numerous successful exhibitions worldwide since 1970, for example Michigan, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, UK, Paris, Denmark and of course Zimbabwe.