He has never ‘worked’ a day in his life Edmund Ndlovu.

Rejoyce Sibanda, Chronicle Reporter
WHEN using your hands to make money runs in a family bloodline, it makes the job easier, fun and one doesn’t have to ‘‘work’’ a day in their life!

For the past 50 years, Edmund Ndlovu, a Bulawayo man in his late 60s says his journey to being a visual artist has been nothing but bliss.

He began pursuing his artistic itch when he was in sub-B (nowadays known as Grade Two).
Finding artistic creativity in everything he saw around him at such a young age was what he did best and this moulded him to be the professional visual artist that he is today.

He says from that time he has never looked back and despite his old age he is still committed to achieving more artistic work.
Edmund, born in a family of six, says he got most of his artistic talent from his parents. His mother was a professional crotchetier and his father was a builder.

Just as he is shedding more light on what he is doing, there is no doubt that one can instantly pick out how passionate he is about his work and that he has so much wisdom about it.

The artist told Chronicle that his four children and his grandchildren are also falling into the same route that he pursued.
He said he has done pieces of visual art on the walls of local hospitals, pre-schools, churches, shops, and houses.
Moreover, Edmund also does letter writing where he has a lot of pieces of stylish written text. He labels school boarding trunks using freehand.

The visual artist said he also does craftwork for pre- and primary schools which include shapes, jigsaw puzzles and paint brushes.

Some of his artwork is found in art galleries in Bulawayo. He has also had the privilege of mentoring some of the famous artists around the city in the artwork.

“I have a very unique vision for the art I produce on my own. Being an artist is not about obtaining formal education and mastering certain skills, it is about instilling your creativity in all that so that the product is extraordinary. I only start putting my talent to work when l get overwhelmed by my strong imagination to visually capture something through a painting,” said Edmund.

He said he prefers going natural, into the real things such as nature rather than using abstraction. He said, unlike abstract art which is not educational and personalised, realism is educational, people relate to it and it is open to criticism.
Edmund says he uses acrylic paint which is easy to put to work and is the best in terms of durability.

“I like visually portraying natural things because as you can see, I have pictures of animals, landscapes and a few portraits of people. I like birds a lot and this explains why l have many paintings about them, I even know most of them by their actual names,” he said.

The artist said he sources most of the materials for his artwork from the local hardware shops in the central business district.
He said the paint brushes that he uses for all his drawings and paintings are originally made by him and he sells some of them to the local shops, schools and the public.

“Back then l used to sell most of my pieces from the years 1982 to 1986 when most of my customers during that time were white people. I have worked with a lot of prominent people, companies and institutions from long back that have appreciated the talent that l have. I am grateful for all the hard work I have put in that has uplifted my life in many ways,” said Edmund.

He said the one thing that he is grateful for is that he has managed to educate all his children and support his family.
The visual artist said what keeps him going is the love and support from his wife and children who are big fans of his work.
“With all the paintings that l have in my house, it warms my heart that if nothing happens to them, l would have left a legacy for all my children if l pass on. My family would be able to sell the paintings either locally or abroad and make money out of them,” he said.

He said this year in June, he is going to showcase some of his work.

Edmund said he wishes to raise money or have a sponsor that will cater for traveling expenses to go abroad and sell his artwork to other countries so that they have a feel of African culture visual presentation.
Edmund also recycles materials such as cardboard boxes and hardcovers for books putting his talent to work.— @ReeSibanda

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