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Seasoned sculptor Shumani Mudau of Tshandama is making a difference by teaching aspirant sculptors how to work with wood. Here he is captured with one of the beautiful pieces of art that he had he carved. Photo supplied.

Mudau wants to empower aspirant sculptors

 

Well-known sculptor Shumani Mudau (43) has embarked on a drive to help the government reduce poverty and unemployment. Over the past 10 years, Mudau has trained more than 50 formerly unemployed people in woodwork and sculpturing skills free of charge. At the end of their training, these individuals establish their own woodwork and sculpturing ventures, work for themselves, and are able to provide for their families.

“God gave me this talent free of charge, and there is no need to charge people when I transfer my skills to them. We can always become a prosperous community if we share what we have with fellow community members,” he said.

Mudau, who resides in Tshandama village near Tshilamba, conducts his sculpting and woodwork alongside the busy Tshandama road near the Makhithani four-way stop. “I now have two learners who are very passionate about woodwork. Despite the orders that I receive from people to do their woodwork, I give myself time to work with my learners every day, using my own equipment. I teach them from basics to comprehensive skills, so that when they graduate, they are able to stand on their own and work. I am doing this because I could see that this art of woodwork needs to be preserved, so that even future generations can have skills to do it. This is why I need more young people to come out, so that we can fight this war of unemployment together.”

A seasoned sculptor, Mudau produces ngoma dza tshikona (tshikona drums), mirumba (conga), food bowls, dzithonga (walking sticks), zwitemba (calabashes), and other decorative wood ornaments. He is proud that many tshikona groups around Vhembe are using the drums he made, and he does not receive any complaints. “The best tshikona groups, including Tshikona tsha Mukula, are using my drums because they sound very good. I also make drums for various tshigombela groups and conga drums for artists who want to spice up their music. One of my greatest moments was when my services were procured to make six walking sticks that were handed over to the seniors of the army when the SANDF was afforded the freedom of Thohoyandou in 2022. Although it was short notice, I managed to complete them overnight, and everyone admired them.”

 

News - Date: 12 May 2024

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