Nyakwenga revels in debut Nama glory

Visual artist Joseph Nyakwenga

MUTARE-BASED visual artist Joseph Nyakwenga (29) yesterday said he was happy that his artistic talent continued to be recognised after his piece Domination earned him the Outstanding 2-dimension National Arts Merit Award (Nama) at the weekend.

Nyakwenga, who developed a passion for visual arts from childhood, told NewsDay Life & Style that winning such a prestigious award was a landmark development in his career.

“Winning Nama awards is a milestone in my life. I presented my art with the intention of showing people my capabilities as an artist and they accepted it, so it means a lot and this will be my source of motivation in almost every aspect of my work,” he said.

“I feel so honoured and as an artist I am so grateful to be recognised at such a huge event which has given me confidence and courage in the art field. This is my first time to compete and I scooped a Nama award that came with a three-month funeral cover from Flexi Funeral Plan.”

Nyakwenga said while the seed for visual art germinated from childhood, it, however, developed as he continued to practise.

“I remember drawing butterflies on the ground when I was in Grade One and that pushed me to pursue art as a profession. For now, I can confidently say art is one of my inborn talents,” he said.

“My inspiration came from the art canvas paintings done by artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Pablo Picasso, so that pushed me to study art further and during the course I realised that with computers one can create more beautiful designs.”

He added; “I think for this industry to grow and progress, it has to be taught from the grassroots level (primary school) in both private and government schools.”

“The visual arts industry is still growing and not much recognised, but I am happy that signs of growth have already started through its domination of the advertising sector.”

Some of Nyakwenga’s awards include Manicaland Show of Arts (MANISA) Merit Award (2015), National Gallery of Zimbabwe Mutare Outstanding 2-Dimension Work (2015), Commercial Design Fresh Water (2020) and second prize for Painting/Mixed Media at Manicaland Agricultural Show (2020).

  • Follow Agatha on Twitter@AgathaChuma