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We recently took custody of a beautiful elephant cow. It’s not quite what you might think, considering our track record with the real thing. This elephant has been magnificently immortalised in Leadwood by a very talented Zimbabwean artist, Andrew Mbewe.

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Andrew was born on 14 December 1969 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He did not finish high school as his father died – a tragic and untimely passing which left the family without their sole breadwinner. At the age of 19, Andrew began to use his artistic talent for income, using soapstone to create figurines and chessboards. He refined his skill over a period of 4 years. It was in 1994 that an artist by the name of David Mudede introduced Andrew to the medium of wood for his animal carvings.

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In 1996, Andrew made the decision to move to White River, South Africa as life was extremely challenging in Zimbabwe.

A genuine fascination for and love of elephants inspired his carvings and the level of skill and creativity in his work is immediately obvious when looking at one of his pieces. We’ve called our beautiful lady ‘Tokwe’, as to us she represents the essence of our matriarch in the Camp Jabulani herd.

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The creation of this elephant was no easy task, as Andrew uses only Leadwood – an extremely dense wood which requires fine skill, but strength too. He started off with a rough shaping of the elephant using a chainsaw, mallet and chisels. He then used a hand operated die grinder, equipped with various tungsten-carbide tipped bits and sizes, to do finer shaping of features such as the elephant’s eyes, trunk, ears etc. Finally he detailed the elephant’s skin, and gave the sculpture a texture similar to that of an elephant.

These beautiful pieces are available for shipping to most countries abroad, excluding Brazil.

Should you wish to enquire about making a space for our Lady Tokwe in your own home or workplace, please contact us via email – curioshop@campjabulani.co.za.

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