Born in 1982 in Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe. Ishmael’s parents passed away when he was a child, leaving him with few options for a trade or schooling. However, he was able to continue his training as a artist under the guidance of his eldest brother, Ignatius Zuwakiyi, a talented sculptor from Chapungu. In addition brother Solomon Chitiyo, trained under the famous 1st generation sculptor Sylvestor Mubayi, mentored him in the craft as well. Sylvestor Mubayi and well-know artist Richard Mupumha, took great interest in this young artist and provided additional support in honing his new found skills as an artist. Ishmael quickly moved on from his position as an apprentice to produce his work independently.
As one of the most promising young artists of Chapungu, his sculpture has become quite popular. Ishmael’s work can be found throughout private collections and galleries in Belgium, England and the USA. In Belgium, his works have become a sought after commodity, as the continued acknowledgment of his work in the art community propels his exposure and recognition as an artist.
Ishmael developed a very singular contemporary style, unlike any other, that manages to encapsulate the “simplicity and grace of modern Zimbabwe sculpture.”
Ishmael Chitiyo is considered one of the most promising young artists to emerge from the Chapungu Sculpture Center.