Simon Gajadhar was born & raised in SW London, UK. By the age of 15 yrs, I was running a stall in Portabella market, buying & selling antiques & clothing. I salvaged my first wooden boat at the age 17 & took to living on-board a series of wooden boats. In 1989 I attended the International Boatbuilding Training Centre in Lowestoft & completed a C & G diploma as a Shipwright. January 1993 I decided to finally come out to St.Lucia, my fathers land, to discover my roots.
Within a couple of months I was running the woodshop at the Marina Boatyard. I had absolutely no desire to return back to England or suffer winter. 80 degrees year round is simply blissful.
As for Zaka; It all started in 1997, my daughter Calypso was just born, I had made some carved heads (kind of like Easter Island Heads) from a very hard wood called Campeche, which had sat in an art gallery for some months without selling.
They were returned to me as non-sellers, too heavy and just collecting dust.
So what to do with them? I split one of them in half, made a hanger from tying wire & nailed it to the back, hung it on the wall! Lovely! So lets paint it.
The business needed a name.
Browsing through a book of Hiatian Gods the last name stuck out.
ZAKA - The god of the forest, trees, earth and agriculture
It fitted so nicely.
And so the first Zaka Mask was created.