Tafadzwa Chibukwa, Chronicle Reporter
Bulawayo-based, Mr Mthokozisi Zwelithini Ndlovu (19) has chosen an unexpected career path at his age.
While some of his age mates are lost on what to do next with their lives after high school, Mr Ndlovu decided to establish his name in the craft industry.
Young Mr Ndlovu who resides in Kumalo suburb is an artefact artist who transforms old, rustic, natural things into beautiful creations mostly used for decoration.
His artefacts are not only for display but some are functional as among his designs are bathroom mirrors, lamp holders, lounge lamps, stands and window frames among others.
At the moment he is not operating from a workshop, but works from the backyard of his family home.
He just steps outside the house with his work bench and tools then starts working.
Most young people of his age prefer white collar jobs and with the evolving technology others are not interested much in manual work.
He said his inspiration came from his imagination, hence the satisfaction of implementing what he had imagined and giving it a physical form.
“It is scary some days to think I’m choosing a path that is deemed not secure by society,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He did his Ordinary Level at Milton High School where he did well and progressed to Advanced Level at Speciss College last year.
His Advanced Level results were not so satisfactory, but he did not take that as a pullback factor.
Rather he looked for other options to bounce back.
Doing sciences during his high school days, Mr Ndlovu is proof that one’s future is not determined by what they do today.
Mr Ndlovu said he did not go to any art and craft school or study what he is doing, it is just a God given talent he recently discovered and he intends to do more with it and become a great figure in the art and craft industry.
He has supplied many customers around Bulawayo and his target market is wide as not only home owners are interested in his art pieces but even restaurants and shop owners are in need of his works.
Mr Ndlovu said he is working towards having a standard workshop with everything he requires for him to be able to work easier and express his ideas well.
“It is frustrating sometimes to have an idea and take a long time producing it because the tools needed aren’t there so I have to improvise which in turn takes time,” he said.
He said he is saving money for him to be able to buy proper tools and in the near future be able to afford to rent a workshop in town where his products are easily marketed and accessible to customers.
As a young motivated man looking to establish himself, he added that his vision is to restore the significance of his chosen industry in the country as a lot of people do not appreciate art.
“I try to stay true to what I truly want and be confident in it even though I am and will most probably face resistance,” said Mr Ndlovu.
As someone who enjoys hands-on work he is planning on establish a brand and establish space where he can display and sell his crafts.
“I want to continue with this artisan path and see how far it can go,” he said.–@Sagepapie14