Odoch follows his father’s footsteps by sculpturing his heart to the world

One Saturday evening during the Afri art and fashion show, youthful Gideon Odoch was one of the Ugandan artisans who showcased their latest art pieces.

“I recycle steel to make these pieces. They talk and represent Africa,” Odoch said during the fashion show to the applause of the audience.

Fast forward, Odoch says being born to Prof. John Edward Odoch Ameny, a sculptor and teacher by profession enabled him to learn from the best.

“I grew up watching my father make sculptures in his studios and I really wanted to get my hands onto some of the equipment and make something but this was me at a younger age and he wouldn’t allow me into the studio,” Odoch says of the beginning of his journey.

He says he always had to wait for the right moment when his dad was not around to sneak into the studio and try out sculpturing.

“When he was not around, I would then sneak into the studio to pick up metals and weld them together, then hide them so that he would not know,” he says

Odoch says whereas he thought all he had done in his dad’s absence was discreet since he always hid the products of his own hands, one person knew what was happening.

He however says he continued observing what his dad always made out of metal but also learnt from the art teachers at school and with time, he perfected his game.

“All my motivation was inspired by dad because I grew up seeing him make sculptures and I loved how he would create life out of metal. I really felt one day I would be just like him or even better. Because of this, I always paid keen attention to every sculpture he made. It was not long that I perfected and was ready to go solo,” Odoch says.

The holder of a bachelor’s degree in Industrial and Fine Art from Makerere University says the small sculptures that he always made as he made baby steps motivated him to keep going and it was not long that his dad asked to join him.

“Whenever I made commissioned sculptures with my dad, we sold them and it is where I got my capital to enable me go solo. My first professional art piece was an abstract work of art that signified an African beauty and fabric that was titled ‘The Nilotic Warrior’. This sculpture was bought by one of the art and craft shop called Banana Boat store that was located along Kira road at that time,” he says of his first sale.

He says that from then, he never looked back and currently makes bird sculptures, abstract sculptures, realism sculptures, monumental sculptures and functional sculptures.

Best moments

Odoch says that one his best moments as a sculptor was, the US Ambassador to Uganda fell in love with one of his sculptures and consequently bought it.

 “The American Ambassador to Uganda Natalie E. Brown loved and bought my shoebill bird sculpture and this was a high moment for me. The Kampala Serena Hotel has a few of my works in the executive suites and the African heritage house in Mulolongo Kenya has my works,” Odoch says.

He adds that he has sold several other art pieces in Boston, USA as well as other parts of Europe.

According to Odoch, sculpturing has ensured he earns a living out of what he learnt from his dad.

Not yet there

Odoch says that he is not yet where he wants to be and is always following in his dad’s footsteps.

“He always introduces me to all of his clientele so am now widening my personal contacts on social media and other platforms. I am looking forward to having my first single exhibition soon,” Odoch says, adding that he uses his social media pages to market his art pieces.

To this, he says he is always open to receiving feedback from the public about his pieces.


Just like any other business, Odoch says sculpturing has not been a walk in the park.

“The local community has a different perception towards my work and some people do not appreciate what I do,” he says.

Odoch adds that because the arts industry is still growing in the country, few people are willing to buy the art pieces at reasonable prices.

He says that the escalating prices of commodities has ensured that prices for sculptures also have to go up but few are willing to buy.

Nevertheless, Odoch sees himself as one of the greatest sculptors in Africa and the entire world carrying the Ugandan flag high but also an inspiration to many others.

“I request and wish for government to promote, advocate and invest in the art industry in the country through various ways possible to help create more opportunities for artisans. This would put Uganda in a better position on the world map of arts and crafts,” he says.

Odoch also advises youths never to give up on their dreams and aspirations.

“Listen to your parents but also have positive engagements with them on what you think you wish to become or achieve in the future but stay away from drugs and bad peer company. Continue believing in yourself and keep going no matter the condition. Believe in God because with Him everything is possible.”

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