I learnt a lot from Johan Baloyi the late, how to treat the wood and experience life. Also iIve learnt from the workshop at Leshiba and from Paul Tavhana, especially how to cut and carve snakes. In life you need to work hard and earn a living, that is what gives meaning to ones life. I was born in 1979 and grew up at Ntabalala in the Limpopo Province. Nowadays I am living at Munzhedzi Village, Vleifontein, very near to Elim.
The late John Baloyi helped me to develop a vision
When in school I was very fond of drawing and had in mind to continue doing fine arts. But then I also discovered that I have talent for wood carving. My life as a young artist changed quite a lot, when I met the late John Baloyi and became his student at his place in Mashamba. John inpired me, he did not only teach me how to treat and carve the wood, but also how to develop a vision and orientation in life. In 1997 I was chosen as the best student in wood carving and was invited to represent our province in a national Arts and Culture Competition. In 2003 I attended an additional training programme at the Leshiba Arts and Craft School sponsored by the De Beers Company.
John drove 25km with my first R50 carving income
I still recall when I sold my first sculpture at the gallery of John Baloyi. He was driving all the way from Mashamba to my place at Munzhedzi Village (about 25km) just to hand me over 50 rand, my first earned money as an artist. Nowadays, my sculptures can be found in Cape Town and Johannesburg. Smaller pieces were bought by tourists from Europe and North America. Aside from wood carving, I am writing and performing my own poetry in VhaVenda. I am also very fond of traditional music.
Information with gratitude from Erika Hauff-Cramer
Munshedzi village in Vleifontein under Makhado municipality, Limpopo.
+24(0)76 6870128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
GPS coordinates to my homestudio: S 23° 12.837, E029° 59.061.