‘Like someone carried by a mermaid, my mind is sinking into the deep waters of life. My hands are the tools that express my knowledge, social experiences and beliefs through stone.’
Tago was born in Chegutu, Mashonaland in Western Zimbabwe in 1954. He is a self-taught artist and was inspired by the renowned first generation ‘Shona’ sculptor, John Takawira. He has been a full-time artist since 1978. He lives at the Chitungwiza Arts Centre, Zimbabwe with his family. This centre was established, with Government and UN funding, as a place where the younger generation ofsculptors to develop their talent and explore new directions, and where the artists can supporteach other.
Tago is the Chairman of the Chitungwiza Arts Centre. He is a senior figure in the local artistic community, and commands great respect from the other members of the Centre. The younger artists benefit from his presence, either by direct apprenticeship or through observation of his techniques and creations. As a former accountant, Tago brings invaluable financial skills to the Centre in managing its accounts, as a small percentage of all sales made at the Centre are taken as commission to fund future development. Perhaps more importantly, the younger artists can learn from him the crucial skills needed to survive as sculptors – dealing with potential customers, marketing their work, and managing their own finances. His presence is
key in ensuring the continuing success of the Chitungwiza Arts Centre.
In 2006 Tago was on the judging panel of the “Creativity and Originality” sculpture
competition at Chitungwiza Arts Centre. In 2007 and 2008, he was chosen by the National Arts Council to be a judge for the National Merit Awards, designed to find the cream of Zimbabwean artists.
Tago has exhibited abroad numerous times in the last decade, including at the Expo 2000 in Hanover. He also showed in Sydney in 1991 and in London in 1992. In 1995 and 1997, he held solo exhibitions in Berlin, the latter including a workshop with European sculptors. In recent years, he has spent 3 months conducting workshops in Holland and Germany each summer.