He is aware that several art students at the school have done drawings that could also be hanging on the same hall, but they are not there. The coloured pencil drawing - remains etched in his heart and mind. Understandably so, because each time he visits the school, he sees it hanging on the hallway. "My favourite artwork is my final senior school project which I did in 2011. It is currently hanging at the school premises," he says with unmistakable pride.
His passion for art remains deep-rooted despite the fact that he has pursued a different field of study after senior school. He is studying for a Bachelor of Commerce degree, specialising in banking and finance. But that has not made him abandon his first love. He recalls his other great piece, a unique drawing with pen on leather, back in 2008. Those that have known him closely since his childhood testify his dalliance with coloured pencils started from a young age. Just like any other child from a decent background, Keegope was exposed to coloured pencils at a tender age. And while his peers grew 'too old' for the emblazoned pencil, he fell deeper in love with it. "I used to draw everything that captivated my eyes. I grew with the habit and continued with art at junior school level," he says.He admits he struggled at first with his drawing skills. In the middle of struggling, the conviction that he had a natural talent never escaped him.
"I began to spend more time sketching and I discovered that I could go somewhere beyond my expectations," he says. His interest is in fine and commercial art. He is convinced art is making steady growth in the country despite lack of financial backing. "There is a pool of young artists who I believe can mesmerise the world with their talent.They should not lose heart - they will reach their destined success in art," he says.
He picks Wilson Ngoni as one of the artists he admires. Passionate painter,
Frank 'De Painter' Mabotowe, Thato Khomela and Ditshupo Mogapi are his other heroes. Mabotowe feels chaffed that the starlet sees his work as an inspiration. He says the youngster's peers are no match for him when it comes to art. "For a promising artist, he definitely understands exactly what he is doing when it comes to pencil and coloured pencils. He is good and far much better than his age mates and he really takes his work very seriously both academic and practical," says Mabotowe. He adds that if Keegope polishes up his technique, he is certainly headed for greater things.
Keegope himself yearns to explore art and improve his skills. In fact, he calls art a field that has captivated his inner sense of belief.
The teenager has an interesting definition of art. "To me art is an expression of one's own mental picture captured in a trice and applied to impress the viewer in a deft manner." No one in his family is involved in art, except a few distant relatives. But he is overly grateful they loved and appreciated his gift when they discovered it. "They also encouraged me to keep up with my talent." However, he is quick to admit art took most of his time at senior school."I was a bit slower when I did my artworks but I later discovered a way to increase my pace while working."
Nonetheless, his teachers were supportive and moulded his skill to what it is today. "My art teachers also played a role by motivating me and giving me an insight on how to execute artworks using various techniques that will enhance my works," says the 19-year-old.
Keegope is fervent about imparting his expertise to other people. He remembers two of his senior school classmates - Tlhalefo Gaongalelwe and Isaac Babati - who benefited from what he has learnt. With his piece still hanging at GSS, the fervent sketcher now aims at leaving a mark with art beyond the school.