Phillip Sampruru


Phillip Sampruru was born on the 10th November 1980 at Harare Hospital and is the only one in the family. He attended his primary education at Upenyuhutsva children’s home in Harare and his secondary at Mukai High School in Harare. He completed his ordinary level education in 1997.

While still in junior school Phillip liked art and craft and he was very creative when making toys, Phillip was inspired to start sculpturing by Paul Gwishiri.Phillip started carving stones when doing his junior certificate in 1995. He started by helping Mr. Gwishiri in cleaning and polishing his stone carvings. At that time Mr. Gwishiri was selling his sculptures at a market called Avondale Shopping Centre in Harare. After completing his “O” level, Phillip began assisting Mr. Gwishiri by selling his sculptures in Avondale. While working in Avondale Phillip started producing his own sculptures.

He vividly remembers one of his earliest art forms which he titled ‘Princess of Africa’. This medium sized spring-stone piece was so elegant that it was acquired by Ramambo gallery. Substantial resources were thus raised to enable Phillip to buy some raw stones. This is when he returned from the market to the workshop to begin full time sculpting in Chikumbamarara where Mr. Gwishiri was working. He worked for Mr. Gwishiri for four years. He was producing his own sculptures under the guidance of Mr. Gwishiri and in 2002 he established his own workshop in Chitungwiza.

He is married to Emilia Nyamba and they have three children. Two boys and a girl, Takunda, Christian and Tariro.He mostly carves stone sculptures in figurative form. His favourite stone type is spring-stone which is very hard and produces sculptures which cannot be damaged easily. Most of his work is currently being established at local galleries in Harare. He has works at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Chapungu and Stone Dynamics.

He is very keen in training young and upcoming stone artists. Rodrick Makahari is one such artist whom he has groomed to become one of Zimbabwe’s renowned sculptor. Phillip’s hard work improves every time and again. He believes his market can expand if given the chance to exhibit his works abroad in new galleries.