Lucky's style to use copper and metal on wood

Lucky Makamu

Lucky’s huge angels and angel benches are well known and well loved amongst art collectors. His style is easy to recognize, because he decorates his wooden sculptures with copper and metal ornaments. Lucky Makamu lives and works with his wife and children in Mbokota village, near Elim, Northern Limpopo. He creates small and large pieces, depicting religious and mythical themes such as crucifixes, benches with snakes, fish and his well-known angels.


From 1979 to 1982, he decided to earn a living in Johannesburg and left his place despite the difficult time of apartheid. He was lucky to join a training course with the South African Police and was thus able to find employment with the SAP – Traffic Police. After four years of city life, he was longing to go back home though. As an income generating project, he got himself involved in metal work and started to produce different jewelry designs. Following tradition, he also carved small sculptures. It was during that time, he was asked by Jackson Hlungwani to work as his driver and bring his sculptures to a newly opened gallery in Newtown, Johannesburg. He soon realized how well his own small wooden sculptures caught the interest of customers.

Message about Tsonga culture

He was very much influenced by Jackson Hlungwani. He realized that through his sculptures he could get the message across about Shangaan (also a group of the Tsonga people) culture and expose their art throughout the country. Nowadays, his pieces are found in  different museums and galleries in South Africa. He has recently also finished his training as traditional healer. His workshop is open to visitors.

Text source: Erika Hauff-Cramer

Contact details:

Lucky Makamu
Tel +27(0)71 342 1551
Or his son TT Makamu at 078 6604223 or
Mbokhota Village
P.O.Box 1039
Mashamba 0942