Lenyenye’s best-rated painter uses his paintbrush to connect with prolific people


By Thabo Monyela

LENYENYE- The local-best rated paint artist Thapelo Mabula’s dexterity to create beautiful likeness art pieces has earned him a table at higher levels and connected him with prolific people he never imagined. 

The 26-year-old creative portrait painter from Marumofase village outside Tzaneen, advanced his God-given talent from pencil drawing to painting in 2016, after being inspired by another visual artist guru Jones Mailula.  

Mabula might have ditched pencil to brush painting using, but during his pencil art moments, he bagged a live TV interview with SABC after he drew Collins Chabane moments after his death and was once invited to exhibit his work to then Limpopo Premier Sello Moloto.

Portrait of the late Thobela I’m hlokwa latsela presenter.

The naturally gifted visual artist uses his academic qualification of Civil Engineering, which he obtained from Sir Val Duncan to create stunning likeness portraits, that even the recipients or associates would find resemblance in. 

“I studied engineering because it goes hand in hand with fine art, the skills and knowledge acquired from this qualification helps me to create stunning portraits that people would relate with.

I switched from pencil art to portrait painting, because I have discovered that people love colours and whatever colour they put on has a meaning. so I create a portrait painting that has a meaning described by the colour of the clothes or the surroundings” he said.

In 2017, he represented South Africa during the Greater Tzaneen Creative ensemble festival against countries like Botswana, Mozambique, Brazil, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay and others. 

Just like many visual artists do, they often create portraits of the people who have just passed as a way of paying tribute or honouring a person’s essence in life. 

Mabula’s latest painting in his gallery is the stunning portrait painting of Limpopo Premier’s wife Maggie Mathabatha which was unveiled during her memorial service last week, as a way of honouring her. 

Another prominent figure that he honoured with a portrait, was the late SABC’s Thobela FM Radio legend Matome Maupi, which was also unveiled during his funeral. 

Mabule says his ideal dream is to see himself owning an art gallery that will afford local visual artists space to display their work.  

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