- A 19-year-old artist from Malamulele has left Mzansi impressed by his artwork
- The self-taught creative inks realistic portraits that have made him the talk of the town
- The young man opened up about what his talent means to him and how he plans to grow it
BY MANARE DONATION - FREELANCE JOURNALIST
Thulani Mabunda’s artwork quietens onlookers, just as his name suggests.
The self-taught pen portrait artist from Xitlhelani village in Malamulele is aptly named as his dexterously crafted portraits leave many speechless. Thulani is a Zulu verb that means "Be quiet".
Now and then, Thulani is found at the University of Limpopo’s gate 2 entrance, sketching portraits as well as promoting his artwork. As if to pay homage to his name, a horde of onlookers can be seen by Thulani’s side, astounded to silence by his nifty artwork.
His slow and focused approach can make you doubt his drawing ability. But dare not, for his portraits are always spot on, if not better than the reference pictures. Unlike other portrait artists who use a pencil to draw, the right-handed artist uses a pen to draw; a feature that further signifies his drawing pedigree.
Drawing using a pen could only mean one thing: there is no margin for error. On average, he says, it takes him close to four days to draw a complete and ready-to-sell portrait.
With the fear that his grades at school could be negatively affected, Thulani’s teachers and parents became uncomfortable with him spending much of his time honing his craft. He was then urged to channel much of his focus to his studies.
“My parents and teachers always encouraged me to stop drawing and focus much of my attention on my studies," adds Thulani.
Lately he has done portraits of both the South African business magnate Ref Wayne and the 2020 Miss South Africa, Shudufhadzo Musida, and is looking forward to commission them soon. Just as everyone has goals within their careers, Thulani is equally no different.
“The dream is to one day own an art gallery where people from different parts of the world can come, visit and see my work,” continued Thulani.
Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za previously reported that Menzi Ngubane recently hopped onto his Instagram account to share a portrait of himself painted by local artist, Musa Shakes.
The actor wrote:
"This is such an honour. Thank you, Musa Shakes, for capturing me in this beautiful manner. God bless you."
Musa has also painted the likes of Simphiwe Ngema, DJ Tira and Nay Maps.
The super-gifted Musa calls his technique smudge painting.
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