Fungai was born on August 29, 1969 at Biriwiri Mission Hospital in Chimanimani. His father was a plumber at the local forestry estate and his mother was a housewife. He completed his ‘O’ level at Mhakwe Secondary School, Chimanimani in 1987.
In 1990, Fungai began to sculpt under Joram Mariga, the father of Zimbabwean stone sculpture. It was through Mariga’s wife, Maude, that Fungai met Joram. Maude’s home town is Chimanimani, so one day whilst Joram was visiting her parents, she introduced him to Fungai.
For five years, Fungai apprenticed with Joram, learning all aspects of stone carving. Mariga is known for his passion to work in hard stone such as lepidolite, granite and leopard rock, therefore Mwarowa’s grounding was a solid one. Shortly after, during the International Granite Sculpture Workshop held at Chapungu, Mwarowa displayed to the world that he can sculpt even the hardest of stones.
In 1995, Mwarowa applied for residency at Chapungu and worked at the famous Chapungu National Park. It was not been easy for Mwarowa to break from the teaching and training he received from Mariga, his sculpture would more often than not bear certain resemblances to the distinctive Mariga style. A few more years into his career, however, was all it took to create works true to himself and reflective of his person: happy, cheerful and a little off-beat.
Stone holds no barriers for him, he can work on any stone no matter how hard. This skill is very revered and Mwarowa took advantage of the hard colored stones--producing fantastic imaginative creatures often imbued with human characteristics. His fascination for stone is obvious, as he enjoys making each new sculpture from a different stone.
York's Shona Gallery is proud to present Mwarowa's "Bunny" and "Two Brothers." Click below for more information.