At only 18-years-old Fortune Ntakhwa has proven that he is capable of exhibiting his work alongside some of the best painters in the country. Ntakhwa’s work has managed to win many people’s hearts on social media, especially Facebook where he usually posts his latest work.
Although this is a dream come true for him, he is confident that this is only the beginning and the best is yet to come.
The young man who was inspired by Wilson Ngoni to be an artist said although being a creative painter is not an easy task, the amazing thing about it is that you earn people’s respect by doing what you enjoy doing. “People of different ages appreciate my hard work and that is good reward for me. I get pleasure when I see people loving my work and this motivates me to even work harder and paint other breathtaking images,” he says.
He says that befriending the brush started immediately after he finished his form 5 last year. “I used to spend most of my time on Facebook since I had nothing to do. One day I came across Ngoni’s images. I instantly fell in love with the images and started consulting and asking him to nurture me until he agreed to my proposal,” he says.
However since his mentor and him lived far apart from each other, the lessons were conducted through Facebook. Understanding fully what it takes to make a great art piece was one of the hardest things Ntakhwa says he had to deal with. “Ngoni’s techniques are superb in the sense that they capture not only people’s hearts but also their minds. Once you look at the image it stays in one’s mind for a very long time and it is hard for one to easily forget them,” he says.
Ntakhwa mentioned that after his few lessons with the art master, he started practicing on his own and surprisingly it wasn’t long before he actually nailed his first art piece. “Most people confuse my work for that of my mentor. Some even say I copy him but what they fail to understand is that his work inspires mine and as I paint I always have his images on my mind. That is why most of my work is somehow similar to his,” Ntakhwa says.
He says that most of his customers are based in Francistown. Thanks to his interaction with his fans on Facebook, he is now able to reach faraway places. “The love my images have been getting on Facebook has been phenomenal,” he says, “never in my life had I imagined that one day my work will drive people crazy. I am enjoying every moment”.
He says however that displaying his work on Facebook has its downfalls as well as its advantages. He says although many people love and admire his work, some people sometimes do not respond well to his images. “Getting negative feedback is also good as it shows that people are paying more attention to your craft. Besides that, criticism is good as it motivates someone to even work harder to perfect their craft,” he says.
Ntakhwa says that he got a lot of inspiration from spending most of his life living in different villages. He says this is the reason why the village life is always portrayed in his images. “I used to see people surviving and making ends meet through little things that cannot be considered precious in towns, things like donkeys which are used as a form of transport as well as food. Grandmothers who often tell children bed time stories every night are very sentimental to me as they remind me of my background and humble beginnings.”
He says that all this can be seen in his images as they show how village life is amazing and very educative to young ones. “It instills a sense of belonging to us and it makes us grow to be a strong people who are well displined and ready to conquer the world,” he says. Ntakhwa will be exhibiting his work on the 30th of May at Doctor Sombie’s private hospital in Tutume.