Former addict calls for more art in schools

SIMPHIWE “Brazil” Nqini was nine-years-old when he started using drugs.

After kicking the habit in 2017, he decided to follow his lifelong dream of getting involved in visual art.

He said drugs had led him to do things uncalled for but now he does what he enjoys.

The 24-year-old Nqini has made his name “Remarkable” after completing paintings of political activists in his home in Maluti.

Some of his paintings include the image of former State President Nelson Mandela, political activist Albertina Sisulu, and Alfred Nzo.

Last Friday, he gave a painting of Albertina Sisulu to African National Congress national chairperson Gwede Mantashe who was speaking at a memorial lecture in Matatiele Town Hall.

Strangely enough, it was through his drug addiction that his talent for art was revealed.

Speaking to the Fever, he said he discovered his love for painting when he was desperately looking for money to buy drugs.

“While I was walking in the streets of Johannesburg, I saw an old man painting and he taught me how to do my own paintings,” he said.

Nzini said people placed orders after they noticed his work in Johannesburg and, when he moved to Maluti in 2007, he continued with his art work.

He completed a course in visual arts and media studies last year.

“I want people and government departments to introduce activities that will keep young people away from drugs and crime.

“Art must be taught in schools,” he said.