BEING forced out of South Africa largely due to stringent immigration regulations and the general tough life in the streets of the rainbow nation has done little to dampen the spirit of a talented Lupane craftsman.
Nkosikhona Ndlovu, formerly based in Cape Town and specialising in doing inanimate aesthetic craft which includes the big five and other traditional products from wire, African beads paint and dry gouges, he has retraced his footprints to his place of birth — rural and dusty Lupane.
The provincial capital of Matabeleland is now his new base where he hopes to mesmerise art work enthusiasts with his captivating and unique craft, talent as he awaits the chance to exhibit his piece of art works locally, nationally, regionally and even globally.
His art work is a combination of beads and wire creation which are usually picked up for a modest fee by the occasional tourist passing through the dusty streets footpaths of Lupane on their way to Hwange National Park to view the big five or all the way to the majestic Victoria Falls, about 300km away.
Speaking to Southern Eye Lifestyle, Ndlovu narrated how a few years ago he left his place of birth for perceived greener pastures in Cape Town and immediately landed a job as a farm worker. Not for long while toiling at the farm, the Lupane artist decided to supplement his meager income by dabbling in his favourite pastime – handcraft and art work.
“People in Cape Town later appreciated and loved my artwork. I began to have a high demand of my artwork at the beach. My works were sold at some curio shops in Cape town and outside Cape Town . I even got some orders from the overseas,” Ndlovu said.
“I had been having a tough time in South Africa, but at the end, people got to understand and loved my artwork. I am hoping to create a good market like l did in South Africa,” he said.
It was not all beds and roses. The hardships he faced down South and the frequent harassment over work visas forced him out, hence the retracing of his footsteps to Lupane where he now aims to establish a flourishing arts and craft business in which he has roped in local schools and the local community.
Ndlovu has not sat on his laurels since his comeback from home. He is working with a group of boys in Lupane, teaching them creative art.
He has ropped in three young boys — Mhlupheki Moyo, Paddon Ndlovu and Clement Sibanda — to form Sipopoma Creative Arts Group.