Born in 1971, in the Nyanga district of the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe, Tapiwa’s talent was noticed and subsequently nurtured by Claude Nyanhongo. Claude was one of the most famous artists of the first generation of sculptors
In 1998 he joined Claude at his Nyanga studio where he learnt from him and Claude’s children Gedion and Agnes, both famous artists in their own right. He developed his tool skills there for six months before beginning to carve his own pieces.
On his inspiration and learning the craft, Tapiwa says “I like sculpting human figures and birds. As for the birds, I got interested in them as I grew up in the rural areas of Nyanga where I encountered them. I observe women going about their daily chores and try to capture the spirituality of womanhood. Since joining Nyanhongo at his studio I have acquired a lot of skills from him and his whole family. My aim is to be known overseas like the Nyanhongos and I’m sure through time I will be able to achieve that goal.
In 1999 Mapuranga participated in his first group exhibition at Nyanga Village craft after which he joined Gedion as a resident student. Since becoming a full time solo artists in 2004 Tapiwa’s work has been included in collections in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, UK and USA.