Elephants in Black Ebony



Carved in Rare Black Ebony,

Davis Sibanda.


My name is Davis Sibanda born on the 23 October 1978 in Zvishavane, Zimbabwe. Art to me is just an inborn talent which was discovered by my family members since my boyhood. During my boyhood I was interested in wire toy car making, portrait drawing and singing. I started to be a full time artist in 1999 after meeting an art collector in my rural area in Mbire district who was from Belgium whose name was called Edwin Ramboe. This man saw some portrait drawings I was doing and he advised me to venture into sculpturing as I was good in art. I then started carving some creative figurative arts and animals fine arts on black ebony wood and iron wood. I’ve never been taught during apprenticeship. In 2001 as an artist I thought of doing another type of art so I began making an African musical instrument called an earphone (Mbira). I started making some instruments from there.


The Chief of my rural area, the late Daster Chisunga, one day saw me moving around playing the instrument and he advised me to form a musical group and he promised to promote the group. I then taught two of my family brothers how to play the instrument and three of my friends and the group was formed. The Chief promoted the group with shows in lodges, traditional ceremonies and ended up having shows in the city of Harare. In 2006 the group was based in Harare.


In 2008 I started carving stone and wood mixed media arts in Chitungwiza at Chitungwiza Arts Centre. In 2010 I entered some functional arts workshops with designers from Denmark who were led by Alice Jul. At the workshop I learnt to do wooden and bone rings. In 2015 and 2016 I became a sales rep at Chitungwiza Arts Centre. In 2017 in ventured in animal bone carving, influenced by a Lady called Becky Kelly from Europe. In 2018 I was nominated for National Arts Merit Awards (N.A.M.A).

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