As a fourth year student of civil engineering at the University of Botswana, 23-year-old Wabatsha Nfila still manages to explore his artistry talent and already owns a clothing brand called Streetstyle Jeans.
The young artist who originates from Zwenshambe told Arts & Culture that he is a creative who is committed to learning and an excellent communicator with great interest in the world of art, fashion and design. “I make paintings on fabric or canvas. I customise denim jackets, t-shirts, caps, shoes and even pants. I also make framed paintings for the wall and murals,” he said.
Nfila said that he uses acrylic paints with the help of his fingertips and toothpicks. He uses fingertips for spreading the paint and tooth picks for precision. “I was just never satisfied with the precision I get from using brushes, especially when I’m trying to paint a very thin line. Unless it’s on large scale artworks, that are when I may employ brushes,” he said.
Nfila explains that he only started making art for business in 2015. Before then, it was either for a school project or just for his personal collection. To the young artist, art is life, an escape for a troubled soul and a constant reminder that he is serving a great purpose in life. “With the little knowledge I gather from my surroundings and Internet, I try to enhance my artistic skills so I can be as versatile as possible,” he said.
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Nfila said that he is faced with challenges of people who want free art service. Also, like many young people, Nfila’s other major problem is balancing his art life with having time for family, friends and school, more so that his programme of study comes in handy. Despite the challenges, he said that he gets a lot of support from people.
“I use social media platforms; I have a page on Facebook where I post all of my designs and the REDD’S CHILLSTEP SUNDAYS mastermind, Drew Chadhall, also let me exhibit my work several times, at the monthly event,” he said.
His aspirations are to commit fully to his arts and build both his name and brand for international recognition. “The brand will be grown into a big company with mass production and chain stores selling customised fashionable street wear.”