Jeff Mwazha

I was originally from Harare in Zimbabwe before moving to South Africa.  After leaving school in 1994, I started studying crafting with chicken wire by working from photographs, in Rosebank, Johannesburg. This gave me a grounding in creating wire art, but it was directed more at commercial crafting to sell to the passing trade. I saw this as a stepping stone as my aim was to become an artist, creating works of value that would make people sit up and say, "Wow"!Madiba

I first saw people selling crafts on street corners, and I was inspired to do something similar. I sold craft for about six years before I joined the renowned "Streetwires" in Cape Town, South Africa in 2000 as a designer. I am one of the founding members of "Streetwires", which now employs more than 60 crafters. We also do training where we recruit unemployed people and teach them a craft which will allow them  to become entrepeneurs and give them a means to be able to support themselves and their families. Around this time I had a vision of doing a sculpture of Nelson Mandela (Madiba). My wife thought I was crazy and laughed at me, but I knew I could do it! I worked on the Madiba bust for 4 months and eventually entered it into the CCDI 2004 competition titled "The Living Legend". I was overjoyed to win first prize. I followed this with a larger than life sized statue of Madiba entitled "First Step to Freedom", which is now on display at the Mandela Rhodes Place Hotel and Spa in Cape Town. In 2006 I had two sculptures on display at the 9th South African Design Indaba - "Mohammed Ali" (Cassius Clay) and "Madiba" (Nelson Mandela).

Cape Mountain LeopardAfter the worldwide economic crunch in 2008, commissions were hard to come by and I started experimenting with a new wire technique which would allow more freedom than chickenwire but which importantly was much quicker to work with. This technique I have called "Random Wire Art". I have now advanced the use of this technique on two fronts; firstly it can be used for craft peices for the commercial market but lately I have moved to sculpting wild animals and figures using this technique. Random Wire Art is ideal for creating sculptures which capture the essence and the power of the African big cats.

My time is now split between overseeing and training aspiring wire artists in the craft doing commercial work and spending time doing bespoke commissioned pieces in both Chicken Wire and Random Wire Art.

Contact Details
Jeff Mwazha - Cell +27 84 802 3231

Copyright ©  Jeff Mwazha