Angela Sibanda, Showbiz Correspondent
UP and coming multi-disciplinary artist Sinqobile Shamiso Dube warmly known as Shamiso is glistening with joy after her application to work as a resident artist at the National Art Gallery in Bulawayo was approved.
The gallery issued a call in September last year for visual artists to submit applications for residency, in a bid to attract and nurture emerging artists from Bulawayo, Matabeleland, and Midlands provinces.
She is part of 14 local artists who had their applications approved for residency for 2023 and will be working from the gallery studios.
“This is an exciting opportunity for me to stamp my name as an artist, and learn and interact with other professional artists from all over the world. This is a dream come true, it’s a sign that I do belong in the industry. Being able to station myself at the gallery has always been the ultimate goal, since my training days and I have been struggling with marketing my products, so I am hopeful that being able to work from the gallery will do so,” said an elated Shamiso.
She began her journey in artistry while she was still in primary school.
“I fell in love with art during my primary school days, so I proceeded to do art as a practical subject in high school before going to learn more at Mzilikazi Arts and Craft Centre. I mainly did pen art where I did drawings using ink and then I later on adopted the skills of using fabrics to create portraits that speak to contemporary issues of the society,” said Shamiso.
She said over the past years, women had developed unique methods of presenting their artworks, and being able to work at the gallery was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“In all the places that I have done art, I find myself being the only woman or being one of few women amongst a group of men and because of this, I have had to work twice as hard to prove that I am a good artist. Even during my training at Mzilikazi, I was the only girl in my class and it was challenging because I was everyone’s competition,” Shamiso said.
She mentioned that she has managed to make a name for herself by utilizing public spaces and attending artists’ workshops and seminars.
“I used to draw in public spaces and being at the right place at the right time, I have sold my works to private clients over the past years. I have clients from as far as Nigeria, South Africa, Dubai, Canada, Sweden, and of course around Zimbabwe. I always try to be in artist spaces, she said.
Apart from fabric art, Shamiso is also a mbira artist and a performer.