Making a living out of a life-long passion
With jobs in the country almost as hard to find as a shy leopard laying low in the bush, more and more youth are turning to their God-given talents to escape unemployment.
One such individual getting by on his creative abilities is 27-year-old Prince Moyo.
With an artistic background that dates back to childhood, when as a young boy he would expertly put pencil to paper and bring objects to live with his drawings, the Maun man is the founder of Halethaba Artspace PTY LTD , a fully registered company dealing in arts and crafts.
“I started drawing when I was nine years old; I started with pencil drawing, sketch illustrations and in 2017 I expanded into painting,” he reveals, taking Voice Money on a trip down memory lane this week.
Studying Environmental Sciences at University of Botswana (UB), Moyo would spend much of his spare time drawing portraits for his fellow students.
Although he produced them for free, his schoolmates were so impressed with the quality of work they saw fit to reward him with the little pocket money they had.
It was at that point that Moyo realised there was a living to be made from his art.
As well as his own custom made pieces, which include paintings, sketching and portraits, Moyo also runs a craft shop where other artists display and sell their various crafts.
“The main objective of Haletheba Artspace is to create an Art Market, a viable market that will benefit the artist and the buyer. Other artists bring their stuff in my craft shop and I help them sell to the locals and some tourists who normally stop by,” explains the creative entrepreneur, whose small, colourful stall is located in Old Mall.
While locals do support him, Moyo says his best clients are international art dealers and collectors.
“I am partnering with one Safari company, they bring their international guests to my stall. I demonstrate to them how I make my crafts and explain to them what they can expect in Maun Art scenes and then they buy,” he reveals, adding he occasionally hosts demonstrations for tourists to show exactly how he makes his pieces.
To take his business to the next level, Moyo is working on an art programme for students and indeed anyone with an interest in the field.
“I realised that there are many tuition centers but none of them offer practical lessons, especially art but many students are struggling with their projects. I will be working with their teachers to know their strengths and weaknesses and assist them accordingly. There will also be monthly lessons for anybody who wants to learn a skill in Art and one-day training.”
To turn his Programme dream into a real-life reality, Moyo is on the lookout for a suitable site to operate from as his current Old Mall base falls under the North West District Council jurisdiction, which limits his activities.
“Currently I do not have a permanent place to operate in. My other challenge like most of the artists is that I lack entrepreneurial skills to run the business. Art is a full time job and I find it difficult to shut down my production to attend a business course. This affects me badly because I get rejected when I apply for funding,” moans Moyo, defiantly adding he will not be giving up any time soon.
He initially intends to roll-out the programme in Maun and, if it proves a success, will think about taking it to the rest of the country. We wish him all the best.