THE late legendary singer Micheal Jackson, who came to Zimbabwe towards the tailend of his stardom, was an exceptional hitmaker through set pieces like Heal the World, Dangerous and Thriller which to a greater extent helped raise awareness on HIV/Aids prevention.
Jackson proved that music is a universal language and the most accessible art form without much prejudice and discrimination.
So it is with Mutare-born and raised Cruz Mupoga who has managed to use art to communicate and document societal ills for instance, youths’ experiments with dangerous substances, early pregnancies and school dropouts due to lack of proper career guidance and counselling.
Although Mupoga’s images may not be likened to the terrifying images in Jackson’s Thriller, his stunning fire images prompt people to think deeply about society’s ethical values.
Explaining three of his enthralling images, he said: “The fire represents the erosion of good ethical values and the corresponding rise in bad morals. The hand represents the works of the devil. This lady shows the pain of gender-based violence and her heart is sorrowful, but there’s no one to tell. This shows the pain of a young lonely orphan who has nowhere to live.
“What’s unique about my craft is that it is an inborn thing. My inspiration and motivation is from within, therefore, my work is accompanied with emotional experiences and the like. In short, my work is true and original. I’m into realism drawing art, which covers a wide range of specialities that includes painting, charcoal pencil drawing, etc. I also do human portraits, nature painting, animal painting, you name it.”
Mupoga told NewsDay Life & Style that online usage of space and social media has been quite helpful since it results in tremendous publicity and exposure of his creative work by merely capturing and posting his artistry online.
“The internet is easy to use and one is not limited by location and, therefore, making it an audience booster for us,” he said.
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Mupoga feels there is need for more exhibitions and events, which promote up-and-coming artists.
“The importance of art is only recognised when it has been given room to be showcased. As more art is publicised, it is believed that the true picture of voices and their intent is revealed,” he added. “Many artists lack resources yet they are talented, so there is need for empowerment of the up-and-coming artists.
“I would like also to encourage my fellow up-and-coming artists to believe in themselves and trust in their God-given gifts.”
Mupoga, who believes it has been a worthwhile experience to be patient as he refined his artistry, thanks all thosewho have supported him, including Joe Daniels and Misheck Mugadza, just to mention a few.
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