For as long as he can remember, Tonderai has been driven to create. Driven by an innate artistic impulse that compels him to interpret, translate and redefine the world around him in his own vibrant, visual terms. As a child he was initially influence by comics, African design and graffiti art, before gradually immersing himself in African culture and deriving inspiration from his own heritage.
Born and raised in south London, Tonderai naturally gravitated towards art as his chosen mode of expression, teaching himself from an early age before finally embarking on a graphic design course in his late teens.
Upon finishing college, Tonderai became a freelance design artist for a few years, but found that the level of expression graphic design afforded him stifled his natural creativity and left him largely unfulfilled.
A renewed search for artistic development coincided with a profound cultural awakening within him, which led to Tonderai to refine his style and experiment with other artistic mediums.
Under the guidance of such artists as Kofi Arts and Ken McCalla, and imbued with a new artistic focus, Tonderai’s first exhibition was at Art at the Palace in October 2010. In 2011 he launched his first card range, and 2012 saw Tonderai take part in Figure Black Exhibition and later that year he was found producing his art live, drawing for the crowds at the second annual Gele Tea fashion show.
Tonderai is also immensely proud of having his work featured in The Voice newspaper. Although perhaps his proudest achievement to date is running workshops mentoring young people. Sharing his talents and cultivating those found in a diverse range young people is fundamental to Tonderai's philosophy and something that is also reflected in his art.
His mother named him Tonderai, which in Shona means to remember. This fits his personal ideology perfectly:
“After learning more about our history before slavery and colonialism, the desire to express our beauty and deep culture has been a driving force. I want to remind us and everyone where we have come from, the things we have given to the world….”
Tonderai continues to develop his style, discover himself and further his cultural education in the diverse, rich heritage of Africa.
“I want my art to empower, teach and inspire. I want to share the beauty, history, diversity and knowledge of Africa with the world and break the negative mainstream image of us”