Itumeleng Motswetla is one of many children in Botswana who have been raised by a single mother. The upbringing built the young woman into a hard worker who believes a lady is worthy of her-self.
The 20-year-old young woman Arts & Culture that her artistic work celebrates and embraces the beauty of women. She explained that it was time to break the norm that a woman should stay home while the man provides for his family.
She asserted that women should follow their passion. “Anyone is capable of doing anything they set their mind to. Mosadi ke teemane (a woman is a diamond). Let us ensure women shine. My mother is one of the people that have impact on the kind of art I create. She raised me in the absence of a father figure.
Despite the hardships, she was still able to provide for me. I have therefore grown to love, appreciate and aspire to be a hardworking woman,” she proudly said.
Motswetla further explained that she has grown into a woman that gets the job done even when she is told it is impossible. She also explained that her work was all about women empowerment and embracing the beauty of women.
Most of her artworks tell stories and show women’s capabilities. The young woman sells artworks painted on canvas. She specialises in oil painting but also infuses collages or recycled materials or anything she can express her creativity with. She does realistic and contemporary art.
“I started doing art late 2017 after finishing my form five but only started doing it professionally in 2018. The public has received my work with welcoming arms. I would never be where I am without the support of my people. They have shown me a lot of support and I will forever appreciate it.
They were shocked upon discovering that a female is also capable of doing what was believed to be only done by males,” she said.
The young talented artist learnt drawing at junior school where she did art as an optional subject. She further learnt how to paint at senior secondary school where she believes her skills were further sharpened. Thereafter, she learnt more skills from other artists who have been in the art industry for a while. She acquired some of her skills from the Internet by watching YouTube videos on how to become a better artist.
She showcased her work at Thapong Visual Arts Centre, Issues Fashion Studio, Culture Art Café and at The De Beers Group of Companies. She however explained that the market is not reliable locally. She added that as an artist, targeting the international market was also important.
Motswetla said she has sold her works to other countries such as the UK and USA. She added that the task of making people realise the true value and importance of art and getting them to actually pay for it was crucial for artist.
“I aspire to be in the history books of art. I want to be remembered through my art. I will paint and create a name for myself. In the next five years, I see myself owning a studio painting. I don’t ever see myself doing something else than pursuing my passion in art,” she said boldly.