Jonah Runyanga was born in 1965 in Rusape, Chimbondi in Eastern Zimbabwe. As a boy, he enjoyed molding clay cattle bulls and buffalo bulls, while he herded the cattle. Considered now to be Africaâs preeminent sculptor of wildlife, Runyanga began sculpting professionally at the age of 20. He has been influenced by many relatives, including his father, who are also accomplished stone sculptors.
A highly disciplined artist, Runyanga can be found most days sculpting in his outdoor studio. Other artists nearby are amazed at Jonahs finished pieces because of his mastery of the stone. He is capable of working in a wide range of size as well as complexity of subject matter. Each sculpture is a masterpiece, reflecting his great patience and skilled craftsmanship.
The mighty animals of the African landscape, including the rhinoceros, leopard, lion, cheetah and warthog, come alive under the tools of Jonah Runyanga. He has a keen sense of observation and is able to translate into stone, the intricate details of every animal he sculpts. His reverence for wildlife allows him to capture the essence of each animal as they interact with each other in his creations.
Runyanga chooses to work in the hardest Zimbabwean stones, including Leopard Stone, Springstone and Verdite, a semi-precious stone. Although difficult to sculpt, the results are stunning because of the beautiful color variations and potential for a highly polished finish.
Runyanga’s work has been exhibited all over the world, however this is his first show in America. He has created a truly accomplished body of work for Zuva Gallery and we are proud to be the first to introduce Jonah Runyanga to art collectors in the United States.
Jonah is married and a father of three children. Animal conservation is one of his great interests.