Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fanizani Akuda 1932-2011

Fanizani Akuda

Left: Humble, gentle, talented;
The late Fanizani Akuda (Pic: African Fashion- MySpace)

It is with great sadness that the National Gallery of Zimbabwe learned of the death of veteran sculptor and artist Mr. Fanizani Akuda on Saturday 5 February 2011. Akuda has been long recognized as a sculptor of significance due to his unique and somewhat humorous signature style work that he has consistently been producing since the sixties.

A humble man, he was abounding with warmth, humility, and a piercing astuteness when it came to understanding the world of art, his position in it and that of the founders and architects of the stone sculpture movement.
Fanizani was an extremely family centered man and I recall many a time sitting with him and his dear and beloved wife while he would explain the meaning of his work both as it appeared and what was actually behind its appearance. He would lovingly go through each and every piece lined up neatly on his shelf exploding with laughter and mirth.
Once one had made friends with Fanizani, you would never be forgotten and hence many collectors returned to visit him over and over again. Over the years his children came into their own accompanying him everywhere and overseeing his interests and always in his best interest. As a result, both his wife and children fully understand his work, his aspirations and dreams and this phenomenon is always a mark of a real father who has carefully nurtured his offspring to be the worthy recipients of his baton in the journey of life.
The National Gallery mourns today on the sad passing of our dear artist, friend and colleague, Fanizani, a dedicated and talented artist, a loving husband and father who was a towering encapsulation of the best values of Zimbabwe through his genuine hospitality, unending warmth and true friendship.
May his Soul rest in Eternal peace and may God’s Blessings abound. May the family realize that so many people in the country and beyond stand with you at this time of great sadness and loss.
Doreen Sibanda
Executive Director
National Gallery of Zimbabwe
February 6, 2011

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