Artistry is one of the most underrated talents in some Zimbabwean communities, starting from how people fail to see the value of drawing or paintings to how they greatly discourage mostly children from doing it.
But the story of Malvern Chikambure is quite different.
The 20-year-old, based in Harare’s Glen View 3 suburb, is making strides in building a career out of his passion as a pencil artist. Chikambure mostly focuses on realism drawing as he draws inspiration from his surroundings.
“I like it when my drawing is exerting some sort of emotional aura,” he said in an interview.
“I am very certain my drawings communicate messages too.”
Chikambure completed his A level studies in 2019, but faced financial limitations to progress with his education.
“I really wanted to go further with my education,” he said.
“I was doing science subjects in high school, but from the situation at home, I could clearly see things would not balance financially if I were to pursue higher education.”
Chikambure discovered his talent as a pencil artist when he was still in high school and started studying tutorials from YouTube and also researched on where he could get the material to draw his pictures.
“I didn’t even have an Art class at my school and I was also a science student, so nothing from school equipped me to be a pencil artist,” he said.
“I can only say my love for the activity is what pushed and motivated me to chase after it.”
Chikambure became a full-time artist two years ago.
“My family is very supportive of me,” he said.
“Sometimes they would even buy my designs whilst they are also the ones who help me buy the tools like drawing paper and charcoal.”
His family also assists in marketing his drawings in every possible way and that is one of the reasons Chikambure keeps believing that one day he will be recognised at both national level and globally.
He now has plans to monetise his products.
“I do hope that someday I will be able to launch a website where I can post my products and people can place their orders,” said Chikambure.
Although Chikambure has now been focusing mostly on pencil artistry, he still has hope that someday he will be able to go to university and get his degree.
The art industry is one of the most underrated in Zimbabwe, but as the country develops, the identification of the industry seems to be growing as well, with the players working hard to make it a success.