Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

From drawing with light to brush strokes and Rasta

Artists go digital as Covid-19 strikes

Having served as a photographer for over 20 years, spending a great deal of that time in the newsroom, Lefoko ‘Ras Fox’ Mogapaesi says it is now fine art season.

“When I came to Gabz as a young man, I was taking photos. But drawing and photography is the same thing. It’s all visual art and I’m a visual artist!” the 40-year-old exclaims from his residence/studio at Gaborone’s Block 3 location where he is holed up honing his craft.

After years as a newspaper lens man, Mogapaesi ran Magnum Photos, a media services company, and ended up rubbing shoulders with CBD big cats.

However, in 2018, he decided it was time for a change.

“You see, nowadays we are in the fourth industrial revolution. People have cellphones with very sophisticated cameras and editing apps so the need for a photographer is diminishing. Very soon we will have robots programmed to take photos and that’s why the value of paintings, drawings and other handmade crafts is going up. People are building houses and need art!”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Mogapaesi stares at the soil a few feet from the brick he is seated on. It’s a blank stare. Perhaps the interview has brought back memories.

He brings his fingers and thumb tips together and, in his usual monotone, continues, “As a media photographer, I didn’t have a chance to practice art. Now I can spend a whole week in the house either drawing or painting.”

Ras Fox has just completed a penciled Haile Selassie and is working on a commissioned Bushiri portrait. The legendary Ethiopian Emperor, a revered figure in the Rastafarian movement, is an evident favourite.

The artist’s voice rises an octave and he turns to face me. He explains that Rastafarianism has always been his calling; from when his three-year-old body started rejecting meat to the time he joined the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

“I did this to honour Selassie as my King. Rasta is the true religion for the black man. It teaches righteousness, encourages working with your God-given hands and eating the right organic food. Selassie also wanted us to keep our kids from drugs because they are the enemy’s weapons.

“Mussolini’s Italy brought drugs and disease upon the people and Rastaman challenged him. We must do the same and stop eating junk food,” urges the devout Rastafarian, his long dreads tucked away in a scarf such that it looks like a pointy hat.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

He explains the turban is a sign of his elder-man position within the Rasta community.

“I am a high priest after being anointed by another high priest impressed by my righteousness and adherence to Rasta principles,” he tells Voice Entertainment.

Since turning to the pencil two years ago, the creative has produced more than a 100 paintings and drawings.

Although he terms this time as ‘practice years’, Ras Fox feels he is ready to unleash his artistic messages on the unsuspecting public.

“This is the time for themed exhibitions and partnerships with other artists and stakeholders,” he adds.

Mogapaesi is not new to exhibitions. He has been part of the National Museum Art exhibition and had a studio at Thapong Visual Arts Centre.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

But that’s all in the past. Though he has sold some artworks and received occasional commissions, Rasta says up until now, it has mostly been practice.

His tourism and culture-themed artwork is ready for exhibition but there is no money.

“I need to get my art out there so that it can communicate with the people but an exhibition is expensive,” he explains, his head beckoning towards his numerous creations behind him. Some of his sketches include African hats, baobab tree, a rhino, elephant and other cultural, wildlife and food drawings.

“Canvas and other materials for painting and other styles are expensive; that’s why most of my creations are in pencil,” he adds.

The question about his future prompts Ras Fox to look up in contemplation.

“I want to have galleries across Southern Africa and hold exhibitions all over the world. Most importantly, I want to engage the youth in art so that they can stay away from Babylon drugs and poisoning. Yes, I!”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

*Former spy chief spends another night at SSG holding cells

News

Two men were burnt beyond recognition last Friday morning in Maun after a Mercedes Benz vehicle they were driving in veered off the road...

News

Police have confirmed the death of a 9-year-old girl suspected to have accidentally throttled herself with a swing string at Molepolole’s Lesetlheng ward last...

News

VIOLENT HUSBAND IN COURT FOR GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM An aggressive Zimbabwean man appeared before Francistown Magistrate Court on Tuesday charged with causing grievous bodily...

News

I want to hug Jesus-The General tells friends before killing himself Botswana Police are investigating another case in which one of their officers, a...

Sports

Following uncertainty over this year’s Botswana Sports Awards, Botswana National Sports Commission (BNSC) has finally cleared the air announcing the 19th or 26th of...

Politics

Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse, has assured the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) members of a better future ahead following...

News

Palapye Labour Officers to appear in court over Makoro Bricks case Two Palapye District Labour Office employees will appear before Justice Diwanga of Francistown...

News

•Boy 14, uses dad’s loaded gun to kill 6 -year -old sister A father whose six-year-old daughter died in a shooting accident by her...

News

Balopi says emergency meeting was for Bye election preparations Botswana Democratic Party’s Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, has come to the defence of his party...

News

REPORTS THE DISTRICT OFFICE TO COMMISSIONER Botswana Miners Workers Union has reported the Palapye District Labour Office to the Commissioner of Labour Goitseone Kokorwe....

News

PRINCE HARRY CONDEMNS DRILLING FOR OIL IN THE OKAVANGO DELTA, MOBILISES THE WORLD TO STOP IT One of the most powerful men in the...

News

The City of Francistown and AMA Future of Africa Holding (Pty) Ltd has signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) for the establishment of an...

News

Mother withdraws maintenance case after son’s poisoning A distraught mother, Boitumelo Mompati, this week withdrew a child maintenance case from Extension II Magistrate court...

News

*Lions terrorise Sepako farmers *10 cows killed within four days The human-wildlife conflict has reached an all-time high in Sepako, a village 50km north-east...

News

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Councillor for Medie/Kweneng, Edwin Shanakane, on Monday appeared before Molepolole Magistrates’ Court charged with defilement. Shanakane, 37, is accused of...

Advertisement

Copyright © TheVoiceBW. (Since1993) made with ❤️ in Botswana.