“I worked with a number of big artists of the first and second generations. I am very happy to be the first artist to come from the remote area of Rushinga. I like mostly to produce figurative sculptures as my creative style, especially in springstone, dolomite and other hard types of stones.”
Cloppas was born in 1974 in the remote village of Rusambo, near Mount Darwin in north-eastern Zimbabwe, and attended primary and secondary schools there. When he left school, Cloppas came to Harare to look for work. He met artist Dennis Chatsama, who “introduced me to the field of art” by taking Cloppas to the Canon Paterson Art Centre in Mbare. Cloppas became Dennis’ assistant, learning how to sand and polish his sculptures. In 1994, Dennis introduced Cloppas to famous ‘second generation’ artists Joe Mutasa and his brother Gregory Mutasa. Cloppas moved to work under Joe’s tutelage for several years, and also assisted Gregory from time to time. Joe taught Cloppas “how to turn a raw stone into a sculpture.” In 1996, after working with the Mutasa brothers for an intensive two years, Cloppas felt it was time to establish himself as an artist in his own right. He set up a workshop in Chikwanha township in Chitungwiza, near Harare, and had four assistants who he taught, including Stephen Murenza. All four are now independent artists making their own sculptures. He now lives in Harare and is married with four children.
“In 2001, I fulfilled my dreams and got the chance to go to Belgium…since that year, I have gone to Belgium every year to do workshops. I am happy to be part of Zimbabweans going abroad to do sculpting workshops, particularly in Europe, raising the profile of Zimbabwe overseas in the field of art. I am still looking forward to touring other parts of the world as my next big challenge in life.”