Meet lawyer who carved the 'Scales of Justice'

HARARE - When you make a sculpture or painting, you freeze time for a moment, be it a reflection of the past, contemporary or an insight into the future,” said lawyer and sculptor David Ngwerume as he walked around the carvings displayed in his front yard.

The most striking ones are “The Love Entra” and “Freedom” which Ngwerume rubs as he explains themes of love and freedom embedded in the pieces of art.

“Just keep doing what you like for it is also freedom. It is that power to act without compulsion. Art, freedom and creativity shall change the world faster than anything,” he said.

The Love Entra and Freedom are part of his latest collections, comprising pieces that add an aesthetic feel to his yard in Mandara — a leafy suburb to the east of the capital city where he spends his time when out-of-court.

Ngwerume’s work in law matches his proficiency in the arts industry.

He is a partner at Ngwerume Attorneys at Law, a firm that was launched at the height of his legal career.

Ngwerume is credited for carving ‘Scales of Justice’ sculptures found at the entrances of the Harare and Bulawayo High Courts as well as a life-sized arm seen at the State House.

He recounts how he commenced his work in the arts.

“I made my first sculpture in 1997 and it was an abstract bird which I made from munyaka or serpentine stone found in the Musana communal lands’ Gutsa Village,” he told the ‘Daily News on Sunday’.

“I had a passion for making artefacts from just about anything using objects, dried fruits, grass, stone and various other items. After seeing an artiste called Cosmas Muzhenje do his work, I started learning how to use tools.

“What I wanted was to relate things that happen in life and how they link with flora and fauna and during my high school days at ChindundumaHigh School, I reserved my holidays to work on stone.”

Ngwerume has managed to preserve a collection of sculptors from the time he launched his career at his rural home in Musana.

The art pieces are displayed at a small gallery at his rural home and are an embodiment of the memories about his experiences, aspirations and thoughts he had at the time he carved them.

Because he was a bright student, he had to take a break from sculpting and joined the Law School at the University of Zimbabwe in 2002 after achieving 15 points at Advanced Level.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws Degree, Art History diploma from the University of Oslo International Summer School, Norway and a certificate in Norwegian Life and Society from the same institution.

He now boasts of monumental sculptures scattered across the world in the United States and Italy to which he holds a premium value of 10 percent.

“Art is a crunch time investment far bigger than the stock exchange wherein there is no fall in value, as long as you invest in progressive artistry,” Ngwerume says.

“The purpose is to inspire the world into a better place. The world is fast changing and some societies are failing to catch up because dynamic changes have very bad effect on others who can be shadowed by those with influence. We want to get rid of that imbalance through art.”

Some of Ngwerume’s solo exhibitions include; Women: Unabated struggles from the cradle which was held at Zimbabwe Germany Society Premises in Harare from May to June 2003.

He held another solo exhibition at the same venue in August 2003 under the same theme.

Ngwerume also did Global Terrorism: A threat to new world order, which was displayed at the Rainbow Towers Hotel in Harare for the United Nations Information Centre, Harare in June 2003.

He, however, bemoaned the lack of support the government has given to sculptors and visual artistes.

“Before we even talk about anything else there is no institutional support into recognising art. In Zimbabwe, we do not really look at local potential and there has not been much considerations to appreciate artistes.

“If you look at all the awards given in the field of art there has never been one for the best sculptor... in the country,” he said.

Ngwerume is quite reserved about his private life although he freely speaks about art and law.

He is popular for handling the domestic dispute between musician Alick Macheso and his feisty ex-wife Tafadzwa Mapako. 

He represented Mapako at that time. 

He has also defended a number of artistes and their work in court.

Sign up to receive BREAKING NEWS mobile phone text alerts from the Daily News for 5 cents a day. Dial *109*2*1# now to register. This service available to Econet users only.

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.