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2024

Downtown Haliburton Sculpture Exhibition

The Happy Hippo

Nyasha Mabika

The Happy Hippo


The Happy Hippo sculpture was created using springstone from Zimbabwe. This sculpture was exhibited at the ZimArt Rice Lake Gallery, just outside of Peterborough. The owner, Fran Fearnley retired last fall, closing her gallery permanently. She donated the Happy Hippo to the Haliburton Sculpture Forest. We thought it would be wonderful to have the Happy Hippo in downtown Haliburton for the exhibition. The Happy Hippo will be installed in the Haliburton Sculpture Forest in late October this year.


Nyasha Mabika


Nyasha Mabika was born in 1974 in Mutare, in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. He attended both primary and secondary school in Bvumba a beautiful mountainous region near the Mozambique border.

When Nyasha completed high school in 1991 he began visiting local sculpting co-operatives and assisting sculptors with sanding and polishing their sculptures. Having decided stone sculpting was a career he wished to pursue, Nyasha moved to St. Mary's in Chitungwiza to begin a formal apprenticeship with his cousin Winston Magura.

In 1996, Nyasha had completed his apprenticeship and was looking for new challenges. He joined a group of other artists to found an arts co-operative, the Chitungwiza Arts Centre, where he remained an active member until 2016. He now works from his home studio in Epworth. Nyasha goes to the mine himself to select stone, which is his first source of information. He enjoys working with hard stones like Leopard Rock, Sprinstone and Opal.

Attracted to wildlife, Nyasha says that is what most often, he sees in the raw stone. His sculptures have sold to galleries and collectors from Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Canada.

ZimArt started to represent Nyasha in Canada in 2017.


Artist Contact Information

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