A Story of a Bosnian who continued his Family Tradition that his Grandfather started back in WW2

The only blacksmith in Gorazde, Nihad Zigo, is making tools that cannot be found in stores, preserving the blacksmith’s anvil from the oblivion, nurturing his family tradition and developing his business in a workshop placed in their family house in the village of Obarak.

He said the he is specific as a small craftsman because he is the only registered blacksmith in this area and one of very few ones left in the entire BiH.

“There is one in Busovaca and one in Travnik. These blacksmiths are engaged in making and repairing the traditional agricultural tools. Nobody has ever been registered in Gorazde besides us, and I have been a craftsman since the year of 2005 when I took over the workshop from my father. We have 100 stores here and new ones are opening, there is a lot of hairdressers and we need them, but there are no blacksmiths. This is a difficult, black and dirty but also honest job,” stated Zigo.

He continued his family tradition, which was started by his grandfather during the World War II when he was working for the army as a carpenter, and when he returned home he started making knives and pocket knives.

His work suit is dirty, but Nihad has the experience and knowledge of top experts and hands that can be admired. The results of his work are clearly visible.

“When they see me like this, parents usually say to their children: ‘You see, son, if you do not work hard in the school you will be dirty just like this man here’. They do not think about the fact that I am doing work of an engineer, calculating the carrying capacity of the elements and the entire construction, I know everything in detail, from the preparation to the selection of materials to the final product. Also, I am constantly learning and reading in order to survive and improve my business. I left the Armed Forces as the best computer engineer to start a private business. I have everything now, I just need some more time to hang out with my own children,” said Nihad.

He added that the key to success is hard work and healthy family, as well as a healthy society.

He thinks that the blacksmith’s craft will disappear over time as many others did.

He added that being a blacksmith has a multiple symbolics for him.

“My mother is from the village Kovaci (blacksmiths), my wife’s surname is Kovac (Blacksmith), and no one calls me by my name anymore, I am Zigo-blacksmith for everyone.”

(Source: E. A./






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