Rasta gets it “right” with Leanne Manas

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Rasta moved to South Africa in search of a better life.
Rasta moved to South Africa in search of a better life.
Lubabalo Lesolle/Drum

Nothing can get Rasta down. And this time, he seems to have struck it lucky.

He painted popular Morning Live presenter Leanne Manas to celebrate her 46th birthday.

And even though the news anchor (and her mother) didn't recognise the woman in the painting, Leanne gave Rasta a thumbs up for effort. 

Read more| Rasta welcomes Steve Komphela to Mamelodi Sundowns with painting

The news anchor took to social media to express her gratitude for the kind gesture and shared how Rasta made her special day even more memorable.

“@officialrastatheartist you are a legend. Thanks for thinking of me on my birthday!”, wrote Leanna.

“I need this painting - it will be a gift that keeps on giving ??????.”

See her post here:

But Leanne didn’t stop there.

She actually went to collect the portrait and thanked Rasta in person for his ‘amazing’ work, and also gave him words of encouragement to keep doing the good work.

Taking to Instagram, the Morning Live presenter shared a picture of herself and Rasta in his studio.

Read more| Rasta’s painting finally gets Mzansi’s approval: “Finally, I am trending for a good cause”

An appreciative and humble Rasta thanked Leanne for her kind words and also expressed how happy and grateful he is to have the opportunity to paint her while she was still alive and able to see her painting for herself, unlike some of his other portrait subjects.

“Thank you so much, I will carry on,” he says.

“It is so good painting, and someone comes to you and thanks you because they are still alive. Some of the portraits of the people I have done, they are already gone.”

See her post here:

At first, like many South Africans, Leanne and her family were confused by the portrait, trying to figure out who it was that Rasta had painted.

“I was with my parents, and I had not been on social media the whole day,” Leanne said on Morning Live.

“And then I opened social media. I showed my mother and she was like, my angel who is this, and I said mommy that’s me.”

See her post here:

Fans were quick to point out that the famous artist, whose real name is Lebani Sirenje, missed the mark. But nonetheless, Leanne appreciate the effort. 

“At first the comments use to bother me but now they don’t,” Rasta told Drum in a previous interview.

Read more| Rasta on his 'deep and personal' connection to his controversial art works

Rasta made a name for himself when he started painting portraits of well-known individuals at their funerals or memorial services to honour them.

Now he's taken to painting celebrities and politicians who have something to celebrate. 


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