Zolani Mpente is a full-time artist who resides near Port St Johns in the deep rural Dedeni area of South Africa.
He started carving whilst still in school and very soon developed a passion for the medium of wood.
As a youngster he started carving sculptures of domestic animals. When Zolani was completing Grade eleven his father passed away and he had to find a way of making money to support his younger siblings. He very soon mastered the technique of wood carving and started producing, scenes of rural stock farming, Nguni Cattle and milking sets.
Zolani was greatly inspired and mentored by his brother in law, the late Julius Mfethe. His preferred medium is Umgubhe, Umsimbithi, Umthunzi and Masethole wood which he combines to achieve various textures and tones in wood.