11.5"A member of the Shona tribe, Mteki was born in Harare in 1947.
His late father was a mechanic and his elder brother was one of
the first Zimbabwean sculptors whose work astounded the
international art world when it first emerged following the setting
up of a workshop school at the National Gallery in 1957.
As was not uncommon at the time, Mteki's education did not
extend beyond primary school. He did however, display a talent
for painting and even before he left primary school he had enrolled
at the Nyarutsetse Art Centre established by the late Cannon
Paterson, a pioneer in the promotion & encouragement of
indigenous artistic talent in the country. At the Art Centre he
continued to paint and was also introduced to sculpting.
Following his brother Boira's footsteps, and influenced by his
example & success, Richard joined the Workshop School of the
National Gallery. It was the establishment of this workshop school
by the National Gallery's Director, Frank McEwan, which led to the
emergence of contemporary Zimbabwean Stone Sculpture.
McEwan encouraged Mteki, as he had done several other talented
artists, and it was during this period - the later 1960's - that his
work attracted public attention. When McEwan resigned in 1973,
Mteki left the workshop school and since has worked
As a sculptor he is now more productive and successful than his
brother. A recent public acknowledgement of his standing as a
Zimbabwean Artist of repute came in October 1982 when one of
his works was selected as the gift to be presented to the Nigerian
President by the Prime Minister Mugabe on his state visit to that
country. Many other distinguished visitors and art collectors have
acquired his work and he is currently one of the most successful