Art changed his life

2017-01-24 06:01
Oscar Mthombeni with some of his work. Photo: Nosipho Mkhize

Oscar Mthombeni with some of his work. Photo: Nosipho Mkhize

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GROWING up in Harare in Zimbabwe was tough for Oscar Mthombeni (35). His father was the bread winner who took care of six family members.
“My dad was born in South Africa, however, he married a Zimbabwean woman and that’s how he ended up living in Harare. When I completed my matric I had to look for a job, but in Zimbabwe it is very hard to find a job.

“My father suggested that my two brothers and I go and look for my aunt who lived in South Africa in a place called Gingindlovu. Unfortunately, when we got there we discovered she had left for Cape Town.”

Mthombeni said in Gingindlovu they looked for work.
“I had to contact some of my friends who come from Zimbabwe because we needed to move to a busy place like Durban, and fortunately, they found a place in Mariannhill.
“Once there I thought about what I could do to bring in money, and began by making beaded wire sculptures to sell and also taught my brothers so they could also make a living.
“I learnt to do art work at school in my extra classes.

By then Mthombeni needed a place where he could sell his work, so he contacted a friend in Westville who also makes and sells art work.
“My friend said he knows of a place where we can sell our creations in Westville, which is outside the post office, and which is where we still sell our work.
“The Durban Art Gallery often contacts us to showcase our work for its arts events in Glenwood.”
Mthombeni is also a musician.
“I write and rap reggae music with my friends. The only challenge I get from my ‘job’ is that I don’t have a shelter and when it rains I can’t display my work.”

He advised the youth to get involved in art, dance, music or community service.
“Art is a passion and if you have a passion for what you do, you will succeed.”

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