Apostolic sect's golden rock

HARARE - She is an apostolic faith sect member whose best friends are stone and a chisel.

Donning white robes just like any devout member of this traditional Christian church largely viewed as anti-feminine, Juliet Mukwasha- Juckers is one of a kind.

She is popularly known as JBH and her tale is unlike any other.

Right there in the heart of the so-called men’s stone world, Mukwasha-Juckers is carving her own story.

Based in Guruve, 150 km north of Harare, the 36-year- old busies herself carving sculptures, awakening the world to her talents.

When Europe is not calling, she mostly stays at home — a chisel and other tools in hand to turn stone into beautiful art.

In her garden is an array of fine-looking artwork.

Mukwasha-Juckers is one of Zimbabwe’s thriving sculptures and she debunks the myth that girls raised in apostolic faith churches are fated to marry some old, grey-haired man out to use religious power to marry youthful lasses.

Time and again, these apostolic sect girls have often defied all odds, like student doctor Bridget Moyo publicised by the Daily News on Sunday last month.

Or, in the case of Mukwasha-Juckers, they rock it up in the rough men’s world.

It is dream story —literally — in Mukwasha-Juckers’ case.

She told the Daily News on Sunday in an interview at her home that her desire and passion for sculpting started in 2006 when she experienced dreams of her dead mother instructing her to take a stone and carve it.

“I had a dream where my mother was showing me a stone that I should curve to make two fish facing each other with a joint tale,” she says, eyes closed as if to relive the moment.

“At first I wanted to argue with my mother but she kept on insisting in the dream and showed me how to carve the stone. From then onwards I was inspired and this is when I started making the stones carvings,” she said.

Starting as an artist dealer, Mukwasha-Juckers soon spread her wings into making art pieces and it is paying, she said.

She keeps her first carving at home for sentimental value but the need for cash called so she sold the second one for $185.

It has become her life since then. But this is only just part of it. Apart from religiously attending apostolic church fellowships on several days of the week, Mukwasha-Juckers is a wife and mother to several children.

And that is not stopping her from expanding further.

Her finished sculpture work flags the environs of Juckers Booking Houses, an accommodation facility that she is also running in Guruve.

Mukwasha-Juckers says like most women trying to make it in a predominantly “men’s world” she has to fight hurdles that have made her stronger.

Training came in handy.

“A lot of full workshops are held at Tengenenge Community Centre where young girls who are interested in the profession are trained and taught how to carve artworks,” she says, beaming with confidence.

Mukwasha-Juckers’ work is on the world stage and Europe, where she also hosts seminars.

“I have been able to travel the world thanks to my recent found skills.

“I go to Europe twice a year to host these seminars and it works out great for me because I do not really get to experience winter.

“I am in Zimbabwe when it is warm and when it becomes cold here I travel to Europe when it is summer there,” said Mukwasha-Juckers.

But, she cannot escape that snow white apostolic church robe.

Mukwasha-Juckers is uncomfortable discussing her religion and how it affects her work.

“Just know I am fully fledged member of the church,” said Juckers....Guruve angel turns stone into dream beauty

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.