Ramolapong fulfills his dream

Ramolapong gets positive response from the public who have commissioned him to make them portraits and murals at their homes
Ramolapong gets positive response from the public who have commissioned him to make them portraits and murals at their homes

Thatayaone Willie Ramolapong (30) is an artist who specialises in drawing and painting. He is also a muralist. In an interview with Arts & Culture, he said he normally makes portraits and has been trying to perfect his skills on human figures.

He also paints pictures that depict culture especially African culture. “I chose to do this kind of art because it challenges me more to research and know about humans as I am always workings with moods around their faces. I am also open to learning more about Botswana history more especially about our cultures as Batswana.

This is my way of trying to restore the information or knowledge in an art form for future reference,” he proudly explained. This talented young man uses acrylic paints even though he pointed out that they are the most difficult to use since they need speed and patience as they dry faster than others. He added that he also likes using coloured pencils for drawing. However, he also revealed that he did not learn art from school but rather it was a God given talent that was nurtured by some of his fellow artist friends like Ditshupo Mogapi and Thato Khomela. He said he has been working as an artist for seven years. Even though he used to do art on part time basis in the past due to circumstances beyond him, he indicated that he was now proud to be pursuing art full-time.

His journey to success was never easy but he did not let circumstances determine his destiny. Ramolapong used to work in a car wash and at some point he worked as a petrol attendant. “That was when God connected me with those above mentioned artists who I still thank God for their mentorship. I understand I am still learning but I could stand up and say I am flexible with everything that I could be given as a task in this field. Even though I am inspired by the cultures or lives of Africans, for now I am still focusing on Batswana and Botswana.

There are two pieces I did. My first painting is a young lady wearing African attire. I love and respect the energy I used and the creativity,” he boasted. Ramolapong always posts his work on his Facebook page called Thatayaone Ramolapong's arts and that is where his clients get to see his works. So far, he said he got a positive response from the public who has so far commissioned him to make them portraits and murals even at their homes. He even worked with high profile people, companies and has also been commissioned by international clients to make portraits for them. Furthermore, he highlighted that he was currently working with some local restaurants to display and sell works like Number 1 Ladies Coffee Shop in Thapong Visual Art Centre. He exhibited his art at Thapong Visual Art Centre gallery, National Art Gallery, Day and Night Art Markets in Molapo Piazza. He is also working on some artworks for an upcoming solo exhibition that will be in Thapong in March 2022 called "SEGARONA." “Challenges for now are COVID-19 restrictions.

They killed the market but we are used to be struggling with lack or shortage of materials or prices of materials being high. Even though we have been suffocating from this situation, we are trying by all means to find a way to make ends meet and recover from the effects of the pandemic,” he concluded.

Editor's Comment
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