HISTORY OF TIKOLOSHE
In the 1980-ies, on a farm in north-central Namibia, Paul Goldbach met Paulo Cashinga, a skilled woodcarver from the Kavango region. Paul first encountered root carving in South America, but when he witnessed Cashinga carving a traditional Springbok out of a tree trunk, he was so impressed that he decided to try out a business idea with him. In his spare time Paul managed the startup, while Paulo Cashinga carved an amazing and fascinating variety of Namibian fauna mainly from the roots of Mustard tree, Tamboti and Ironwood. Unfortunately, Paulo Cashinga passed away in 2012, but his characteristic root carved sculptures continue to decorate house and homes, nationally and abroad. The original team of eight carvers changed in recent years and now consists of five woodworkers, named Johannes Lirunga, Lino Kativa, Lipenda Kambinda, Ndingi Ndumba and Nanda David. These talented craftsmen share the late Paulo Cashingas skill, vision, and ability to carve from gnarled, curved roots and are since the early years the core of Tikoloshe, fascinating the visitors again and again with matchless, almost animated Namibian animal sculptures. Additional three saleswomen and two people in the administration, complete the team.
Paul was born in Hessen, Germany in 1947. As a young man, he was trained as a Furrier at his father͛s business in Hann. Muenden. In 1970 he emigrated to South West Africa (now Namibia), but returned to Germany two years later to obtain the master degree at the Frankfurt Meister Schule. Yet after experiencing the Dark Continent, Paul already was infected by the Africa Virus, and he quickly came back to Namibia in 1975. This time driving across Africa with three friends in two old German Army DKW-Jeeps. After settling in Namibia, Paul subsequently grew tired of his trade, which was nailing him down in Windhoek. So he started a job as a construction fitter.
During the following years of 1976 – 1981, Paul embarked on many different journeys through Africa, North America and South America. While in South America, Paul was greatly inspired by the work of Augustin Rivas, a famous artist. One of his large exponates (Jesus at the cross) belongs to the collection of the Vatican in Rome. Today he is a well-known Shaman from Iquitos, in the Amazon region of Peru. Paul purchased over twenty big sculptures of Rivas͛ renowned root wood carvings and had them shipped to Germany (where the last ones are still offered for sale). Due to a recession in Namibia, Paul eventually ran out of work as a fitter. Therefore he decided to try and work as a farm manager. While running the farm he met Paulo Cashinga, the foreman and a skilled Kavango wood carver. With Rivas͛ works from the Amazon still on his mind, Paul and Paulo began working together to develop the traditional Kavango carving into their own unique Namibian root carving style. In 1995, after several years as a farm manager and following the successful arrival of Namibian independence, Paul Goldbach officially opened his own wood carving business and later on a curio shop in Omaruru. Although he never intended to become an entrepreneur, after more than twenty years of running his enterprise Tikoloshe Afrika, Paul finally found his peace of mind in the heart of Namibia.