Zimbabwean Artist Draws 'Inspiration From Rejection' to World Stardom


By making art from recyclable materials - other people's rubbish - Moffat Takadiwa is commenting on environmentalism and inequality. He is also sending the garbage back to the West through his practice: 'As they continue dumping in Africa, I return it,' he says.

First published by Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper

From one of Zimbabwe's oldest, most overpopulated slums, Mbare township in Harare, artist Moffat Takadiwa tells his story using discarded materials from garbage dumps to weave expressions that speak about environmentalism and inequality.

Surrounded by countless garbage heaps in open spaces around the city and in townships such as Mbare and other high-density suburbs, Takadiwa draws inspiration and creates intriguing art pieces that have gained him international status.

His choice of materials departs from the centuries-old traditional Zimbabwean stone art, and yet he maintains its old weaving style.

Takadiwa was born in 1983 in the farming area of Tengwe, to a supermarket employee working in Karoi, the nearest town.

His work has managed to inspire and captivate the attention of other artists such as American billionaire rapper Jay Z, who bought one of his contemporary pieces, Tengwe Farms from an exhibition at Nicodim Gallery in the United States.


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