Sunday, September 27, 2020

Born to be inspired

Wilson Ngoni is inspired everyday of his life. He is inspired by certain moods, sights, feelings, objects and their positions, moments, beauty, experiences, nature, memories and even the dreams, desire for money and fame. It is the nature of art to get inspiration from somewhere, whether conscious or otherwise. Therefore, Mr Ngoni feels that inspiration is the seed, canvas the ground, paints are the water and nutrients required by the seed, and he is the gardener who prepares the soil, buries the seed, and waters it. His audience is the bees that come for the flowers. Like a gardener, he has different kinds of seeds dedicated at producing a variety of plants and flowers that suit all his consumers, spiritually and visually.

However, he told the Sunday Standard that his major subjects depict our day to day lives. His first theme focuses on HIV/AIDS for humanitarian sake and because, as an artist, he cares. “We are all affected and many are infected. My paintings on this subject are a platform from which I voice my response to this global disaster.” According to Ngoni, he plays a role as an artist to teach and lead humanity away from pain and death. Furthermore, his paintings shout out a cry to bring awareness to those who are oppressed and their oppressors.

.According to his observation, there are a lot of people who are oppressed like orphans, abused children, and street kids. He actually is an example as he has lost his mother. He has used a particular painting that has a significant meaning to the loss and trauma he went through when he lost his mother.

“I am drawing heavily upon my own personal experiences for this kind of work. I grew up without parents and hence have experienced how life can be difficult for you as an orphan. They (orphans) all wish things were otherwise. They all pray life was another colour. I wished and prayed too. I also cried but there was no one to listen to me. I was crying to the wind. In his paintings, he tries to encourage children, especially the orphans, and the vulnerable to try and shape up even in these adverse conditions. This is because now there are lots of orphans mainly because the parents have died because of HIV/AIDS. His paintings aim to educate the public to be aware and to react positively and helpfully to the situations faced by children.

In addition, his other subject matter basically depicts a woman. He enjoys painting women for respect and worship. He strongly believes that we must first respect our mothers and sisters. Because everything is born of a woman.
He also told Sunday Standard that women appear in his work as the major tenants of his mind ÔÇô the constant chase and search for the one to marry. “Women inspire me.” The calmness in their silent eyes, the pleasure secreted by their bright wide smiles, the dramas brought about by the movement of their muscles as they walk, the soft, dreamy calls of their voices, and just their presence either in the house or in the nearer surrounding ÔÇô all brings maximum joy to the heart of Ngoni.

According to Ngoni, talent and education has always been equal brothers. He employs his talent to produce artworks that depict learning from school, philosophies, allegories, and all the rules of life. These works are usually abstract to some extent and extremely symbolic in both pictorial presentation and meaning. Asked why he likes to depict the hair green, he answered by saying green hair presents wisdom.
He acknowledges the fact that Botswana is a peaceful country for the production of art. The problem is a lack of market which is caused by small population. He is currently developing his website: www.wilsonngoni.com which will be launched in one of his exhibitions this year. He encourages artists to start creating opportunities for themselves. He has been to Durban for research market. He has also established a relationship with a company in the US called ForA, LLC which sells his works. From the sales of his paintings he contributes a percentage to Burundi, a country that has been ravaged by wars.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.