Collen Maduwapera

"Although my work is constantly changing, I generally like to portray various aspects of human life, as well as nature. I like to convey human emotions and phenomena through birds and other themes that I observe in nature and in the people that live around me."

In fact, it is the birds (Mystic Birds) that have become his trade mark.

Collen was born into a family of eight in Ruwa in 1967 and did his primary education in Ruwa, a small town not far from Harare, before attending Rufuningoko High School in Bromley.  

When Collen completed his secondary education his parents passed away and he found employment as a temporary teacher.

During this period, he met famed artist, Nicholas Mukomberanwa, and became a student at his workshop. Collen showed a talent for painting at school and Nicholas encouraged him to pursue this talent as well as sculpting.

To this day, he is good friends with the Mukomberanwa family who have their property not far from Collen’s workshop.

Collen is married with two children.

He had to pursue art on a part time basis whilst working for the Ministry of Education until 1994 when he decided to devote all of his time to sculpting.

He received assistance and guidance from Nicholas in setting up his workshop (Pamuzinda) along with Itayi Tauzeniand Gerald Takawira. Both were famed and influential artists.

Collen’s workshop is a reflection of the man himself. The setting is a tranquil place and Collen has added to this feeling by planting native trees and flowering shrubs.

He is a quietly spoken man who takes great care in his sculptures…even breaking down shaped stone and starting over when unhappy with the direction it’s going.

Many carvers will call on their skill in producing “something” from almost any stone. Not Collen. He will take his time at the mines to make sure the correct stone has been excavated.


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