By Franco Mwachande Jnr.
Gone are the days when white collar jobs reigned supreme. To date, anything goes. Anything so long as it brings kobos unto your pockets. Anything as long as it pays rent.
Visual arts industry is one of those ‘anythings’ that has been, and is bringing smiles unto 23-year old Lilongwe-based Ronald Nthubula’s life. With just pencil and a board, money has been flocking his way since time immemorial.
Ronald’s handworks have found comfort unto various walls globally. He has produced countless types of art forms with a range of style and mode which have added life to the country’s cultural richness and uniqueness.
The artist can’t remember when exactly he had art skills; he only recalls he started drawing at a tender age, sketching anything that grabbed his interest such as cars, animals, or movie stars.
“As for which year I specifically ventured into this industry, I can’t recall. I just know that this art has always been in me since my childhood,” he reminisces.
Unlike other artists in the same industry, Ronald has never had troubles cashing from the bank courtesy of his pencil antics.
“I’m very happy to live on pencils. This industry is very rewarding. All my finances come from my art,” he boasts.
Ronald is one of the rare breeds who is always positive about his future in the business. He says he is a living example of self-reliance Malawian youths should emulate from.
“I want to b,e self-reliant Malawian youths shouldn’t just be waiting for the government to create jobs for you. They can borrow a leaf on how I’m living,” he lectures.
His secret is so simple; self-belief and determination.
“I’m passionate about my art; I get a lot of inspiring remarks from people. And to achieve this, it’s all about being inquisitive, creative, plus passion and determination, there’s a good chance for making it,” he reveals.
Ronald observed that pencil sketch art is respected globally and has a large market thought not permanent in the country, but it is growing at an exceptional rate hence it’s very important artists invest in their talent.
He explained that greatest challenge is that only a few people understand the value of his works. He said most of his local clients bargain for lower prices.
“Malawians are good at making prices on others’ products. They always want higher class products at cheaper prices. This doesn’t work well with us,” he worried.
Among others, Ronald is also specialized in digital illustrations for comic book and adverts.
His works have been a common feature in various local art exits. Just recently, he displayed his works during Story Club exhibition at Bingu International Convention Center (Bicc).