Makamatele Robert Moramaga is a self-taught sculptor born in Ga-Moloi, rural Limpopo, in 1960. The closest town is Groblersdal, south of Ga-Moloi. Moramaga’s instruction in woodwork began at an early age. He would observe as his father, a traditional doctor, include wood into medicines and made the pots to store them in. Moramaga first began working with wood as a young boy while taking care of the cows and goats.
His well-maintained front yard is his studio. Moramaga works with a wood that the locals call monoko. He collects the wood from the surrounding mountains. His tools are self-made. He chips away slowly at the chosen piece of wood with his wire tool to create a spellbinding complex narrative, both mythical and futuristic. The natural form of the chosen piece of wood dictating the final shape the sculpture takes on. It can take him years to complete a work.
He works in construction as a bricklayer to feed the family in Ga-Moloi, Limpopo. Moramaga has enthusiastically taken up any opportunity offered to exhibit his work. His smaller artworks have been included in craft markets at Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria, in the park outside SABC Radio, Polokwane, and the Rand Show at NASREC and in Newlands, Johannesburg.