WINDHOEK, FEB 7 – Some find it impossible to mention art without reflecting upon the iconic works of Raphael, Pablo Picasso or Leonardo Da Vinci. Italian artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni known simply as Michelangelo laboured for five painstaking years between 1508–12 when he was painting 343 figures on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican. Such is the inspiration that 28-year-old Kanyanga Paulus Simaho channels when he immerses himself in his various art pieces.
Simaho is the proud father of his 3-year old son and one of eight children of Mr and Mrs Simaho. His passion was borne of curiosity from the age of five when he would mould animals and cars made of clay. But as life goes on, we tend to turn a page to the next chapter, albeit in the same book.
“For me, I refer to Pablo Picasso who said: ‘Every Child is an Artist. The problem is how to keep it.'”
“I started making animals and cars with clay when I was 5 then moved to drawing on paper when I was 9 after seeing a man from my village drawing our school logo,” said Simaho.
This evolution was just the beginning of his own personal growth as an artist and he came across artists like Stenly Arinze and Oscar Okuno, both Nigerian Hyperrealism Artists, and the influence is unquestionable.
He devoted himself for more than 10 years to doing just outline sketches then in 2018 he I was introduced to Qondja and the concept of realistic pencil shading.
“Add to this that year I also met Zecka Zecks and he also helped me with painting. After that then comes Alina Mateke, Clive and a lot more. Too many to mention,” he explains.
The self-taught artist gives credit to the people who have influenced and mentored him and believes that success is a process, and that doing unnecessary things is bound to shave-off quality progress from one’s efforts.
In his own words “Art is a free gift from God that can help us earn money. You can be a self-taught like myself. All you need is hard work and determination. You have to draw every day to become good; meet other artists and see how they do their work. A lot of people make a living in Art. It’s also relieves stress and keeps us from unnecessary movement since time is money.”
Based in Windhoek, Hakahana location, Simaho has set his sights and ambitions of owning a studio where he can be able to offer classes to those who are interested to learn from him as well as to sell Artworks.
“I would like to make it an Art Centre in the future.”
If his art was no good, then Olympic sprinter Beatrice Masilingi would never have accepted the portrait he presented her to honour her for a good job done representing the country.
“She was surprised and she thanked me. Originally, I made it with the intention to honour her. It was a free gift. But she is also an appreciative person and in the end, she gave me something and encouraged me to keep up the good work. It means a lot coming from someone like Beatrice,” he told this reporter.
Born at Kaguni Village, he attended primary there before completing his grade 12 at Maria Mwengere SSS with 27 points in five subjects.
“But I didn’t go to tertiary school or university because my parents couldn’t afford paying for me. I am single and the mother of my kid depends on me too. I am currently based in Windhoek, where I do my drawings at home, Hakahana Location. ”
Fortunes seemed to have looked better when in 2019, he enrolled at the College Of The Arts. Sadly, he dropped out due to financial problems.
“I couldn’t afford paying school fees and supporting my family at the same since I am the bread winner.”
Armed with a strong will and spades of motivation, Simaho describes himself as a “fine art artist who uses different medium such as pencils, charcoal, ink pen, paint and pyrography (wood burning.) I am also working hard on abstract art. Art is the fast source of my income although I am formerly employed and cannot discuss that. Art is the work that I believe will make my life better if the Lord wills it so. Get an example form Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi. You can also make it a part-time work if you have a full-time job.”
The devout Christian said that people contacted him after they learnt of the portrait, he had done for Masilingi and was grateful. His ambitions and talent are unquestioned and future goals seem attainable as he sets his sights on working on portraits, murals, or direct t-shirt drawings. – email@example.com