Artists in the making

2018-02-15 06:00
Young portrait painters Mihle Mji and Ntsiki Mzayiya showing off their drawings pasted on the wall.PHOTO: unathi obose

Young portrait painters Mihle Mji and Ntsiki Mzayiya showing off their drawings pasted on the wall.PHOTO: unathi obose

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Emerging young portrait painters from Khayelitsha are appealing to the community to assist them with the tools of the trade.

Ntsiki Mzayiya,35, and her cousin Mihle Mji,13, from Litha Park, us their home a a studio to craft their work.

For now they do their portraits using only paper and pencil.

“I started painting in March last year after my stationery supply and delivery business failed, when I lost everything, including my house and television.

Then one day I took to paper to draw, and that’s how my talent was discovered ... I taught myself how to draw.”

Mzayiya said the demise of her business venture was a blessing in disguise.

“I think that was how God showed me where my talent lay. And it’s up to me how I portray my work to the public. I have never put my mind to painting in the past.

Mzayiya said she has also taught her younger cousin on how to draw.

Mihle Mji is a budding artist in her own right.

“We are appealing to any interested people and the community at large to assist us with some paint, brushes and boards to be able to do proper drawings. Or any portrait painter out there that can assist and groom us,” she urged. Mzayiya said her intention is to establish an art gallery in the area.

“This is a male dominated industry and it’s not easy to break through. But my aim is to open the first female woman gallery in Khayelitsha... And I believe with the help of the community and business people that dream is attainable,” she said, adding that her role model is controversial artist Ayanda Mabulu. Mabulu became notorious for drawing a portrait of President Zuma in various compromising poses.

Mzayiya said her painting was a way of expressing herself.

And her drawings depended on the mood she is in at a particular moment.

“If I’m happy, I draw a smiling person or good looking person. But, when I’m sad I draw sad or crying people. And also the time I take when I’m drawing depends on the mood. When I’m sad I take a long time. But, when I’m in a good mood, it can take only few minutes to draw,” she stated.

Mihle Mji said when she was young, she preferred sewing clothing for dolls.

“I thought I’d be a fashion designer. But in 2013, I started drawing cartoons and houses. I used to compete with auntie (Ntsiki) then I became where I am today,” said Mji. Leonardo Da Vinci was their inspiration.

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