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Kgopiso paints COVID-19 memories into history

MOMPATI TLHANKANE
Green and purple colours mostly dominate Kgopiso’s paintings PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Since the COVID-19 pandemic found its way into the country in March, many Botswana have been devastated by the scourge from relying on government’s food relief programme or Mma Boi to fuel crisis.  However, one talented local visual fine artist Mpho Kgopiso has decided to carve all these memories on canvas.

Kgopiso who regards himself as a spiritual painter saw the need to take his brush and paint part of history rather than waiting for a liberation that will never come.

The fine artist has been synonymous with painting murals in the past few years and burnt his right hand at the age of two. It is the same hand that he uses to paint.

He said in an Arts & Culture interview that as a muralist and painter he focuses on what is currently happening and what has happened.

“I have been concentrating on everything around COVID-19 like fuel crisis and lockdown. There is this painting I like where I painted ZZC dancers. I want to show that as they dance spiritually they are trampling COVID-19 as they dance,” he said.

Kgopiso, who belongs to the Bakgatla Baga Mmanaana tribe and ended up finding refuge in Kanye, said he likes to use colour

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to show emphasis. He said green and purple colours mostly dominate his paintings. “I like people as my subjects in paintings because they reveal the messages better.

I also do abstract because I am a spiritual artist and use my imagination,” he highlighted.  Kgopiso added that he used to draw on the ground as a child and that’s when his love for art started. He said after completing his secondary school education he tried to do courses like Human Resources, but it was not his line of work.

“I didn’t do art hoping to make money. I later realised that the more you do art the more it becomes beneficial,” he explained.  

Kgopiso said despite the current COVID-19 induced challenge, artists should continue doing their work because otherwise they will not generate any income. He said artists should also learn to make permanent artworks in public spaces like sculptures.



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