Fadhili Mdede: social worker who turned sculptures artists

04Jun 2022
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Fadhili Mdede: social worker who turned sculptures artists

​​​​​​​AFTER completing his diploma in social works at the Institute of Social Works in Dar es Salaam seven years ago, Fadhili Mdede expected to get an employment from either the government or the private sector.

However, after staying for months of job searching, things did not materialize as he was expected.

He said, before he joined the institute for further studies, he started learning how to make sculptures, using woods, soil and wood waste materials.

He said he acquired sculpture making skills for six months and he was paying fees to trainers.

His expectation was that one day to establish his own arts workshop, where he can work on part time after working hours.

 “Sometimes I learned from internet (online classes), also from people who are experts on this field,” he said in an interview with The Guardian.

“This job needs high passion and concentration in order to produce creative thing, which might be different from what others are producing.”

He noted; “I believes that through creativity, people can differentiate between you and others, also is the best way of attracting and drawing people's attention to come to buy your products”.

“If you want to learn and gain something, you have to concentrate on getting skills first, not money. So, it is better to pay attention on acquiring skills,” he said.

“The only thing you must do to succeed is learning, creating and practicing. At the end of the day, thing will change and no one will complain about employment, not only making sculpture, but also in other fields of the economy,” he lamented.

By the time he was figuring out how to move ahead in searching a job, he started practicing sculpture making, a career he acquired before joining the institute.

A self-employed youth is involved with sculpture making at Makumbusho village.

"I carve various shapes as you see there is a Maasai toys Of mpingo trees, giraffe, face masks , animal species of all type such as lion, cat, elephant etc), trees and people as well, depending on the needs of customer he will order".

He is making different toys depending on customer needs, the business premises direction as well as science and technology objects for the purpose of attracting customers.

Some people used to order what he is marketing on media platforms like Instagram pages, Twitter and Facebook.

“Some of customers need to decorate their houses using natural things like animal sculpture, trees and pictures,” he said.

“It needs a lot of time to convince people to buy our goods, especially local Tanzanians who are being influenced by Western culture in all aspects of life style, and they consider artworks as primitive goods.”

Speaking about his career, he said he produce a lot of objects depending on the demands of consumers.

“I am making all kinds of objects with different shapes, because my customers are not of the same status, and sometimes I sell all,” he revealed.

“Sometimes you can produce many sculptures with high expectations of selling; the outcome comes different of what you expected.”

He said he sometimes find markets and connections from different people, which has helped to secure buyers.

He said his career has enabled him to generate incomes of which he can manage to meet all basic needs as well as savings.

He advised other youths in Tanzania to stop complaining about employment and start building their career, rather than job.

“You know there is a widespread problem of unemployment among youths and they all blame for the government, instead of acquiring skills that will lead to self-employment,” he said.

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