Mundopa’s artistic works a marvel


Wycliffe Mundopa (pictured right) remains in the history books of local art for being the youngest artiste to win a Nama Award for an outstanding three dimensional painting in 2008.
Born 23 years ago in the sleepy town of Rusape, Mundopa found his passion for visual arts and took a particular fancy in drawings.
The loss of his father at the tender age of 12 got him closer to his mother, who would later influence his vision for detail in women and consequently the birth of his creative genius.
Most of his works are representations of women, centering on their woes and hopes, their desires and beauty.
“I can safely say my work is inspired by women — beautiful ones in particular.
“Having been raised by a single mother has inspired most of my women paintings that tell a story although one has to listen with the eyes,” said Mundofa on the sidelines of an arts exhibition at the Zimbabwe-German Society recently.
Art enthusiasts and prospective buyers could not help admiring Mundofa’s painting, Single Mother’s Dreams, during the exhibition.
“In this painting, I was showing what I personally know about single mothers— you see their freedom is expressed in the way they dress as they still desire to be seen,” he said, adding that their greatest wish was to ensure their children were safe and well taken care of.
The figurative painter started painting during his student days at Harare High School in 2003 before enrolling with the National Gallery Visual Arts — a British American Tobacco initiative that has produced many local legendary painters like Tonely Ngwenya and brothers Tendai and Itai Njagu.
At 19, he had to lie that he was 25 years old so that he could be allowed to participate in a young Artists Exhibition at the Delta gallery.
“They wanted the painters to be 25 years old in order to participate but I just had to take part so I locked my hair to look like I was older and I participated,” he said.
To date the painter has participated in 15 exhibitions and although he has a Nama Award to his name, he said he was struggling to get space at public galleries to house his works.
He added that he had always been a guest artist at all the exhibitions in which his works were featured.
Mundopa said he did a thousand sketches to create one painting.