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 Born in the small town of Mrewa, Zimbabwe, Tafadzwa Tandi spent his youth there and, unlike many, was fortunate to complete his secondary education. Carving came naturally to Tafadzwa. Being a Tandi, he is part of a well renowned carving family. Tafadzwa is the grandson of Gabriel Tandi, a first generation artist and the son of Thomas Tandi, a second generation artist.


Tafadzwa started carving at the age of nine during his school holidays. He says his  father was his source of inspiration as he used to see him talking to the stones almost every day. When his father discovered his son’s talent, he ‘taught him the language of stone’. It did not take long for Tafadzwa to understand this language and at the age of ten he says he could talk the same language with stones. This is evident in his work as he is known for making some remarkable pieces, even at an early age. In 1997, when he finished his O’Levels and was still in Mrewa living with his father, Tafadzwa became fully active in carving. In 1998, he moved to Harare and joined The Chitungwiza Arts Centre where he is an active member to this day.


Tafadzwa can make anything out of stone. At a young age, he was already considered one of the most highly skilled Zimbabwean carvers. He enjoys working on hard stones like Verdite, Lepidolite, Dolomite and the very challenging stone referred to as Butterjade. Recently, he has searched out new and even harder stones to work with. Sometimes this takes him to Mozambique to bring back semi-precious agates. He is also testing the limits of carving by working with the newly discovered gemstone, Aquaprase . His work is bold, daring and attractive.


Tafadzwa’s work has been collected by private art collectors and gallery owners across the world, including Canada, USA, Asia, the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and the UK.


Tandi Family 


Tafadzwa is a member of the renowned Tandi Clan of Zimbabwe. Famed not only for their significant contribution to the Zimbabwean Sculpture Movement since its early origins, the family is most notably recognized for their mastery of realistic renditions of humans and wildlife. A family tradition passed down from one generation to the next, the skillset of the Tandi clan at the sight of stone is remarkable. Follow the creases in the fur of their every animal, look deep into the in-set eyes of their every portrait, and see figures come to life. In a contemporary art environment that has recently embraced the exploration of less traditional and abstract forms, the Tandi family — and Tafadzwa amongst them —  are a cherished anomaly that continue to cement Zimbabwean culture and tradition into the international African diaspora of today.

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