Local artist turns his hobby into a profession

AFTER deciding to take a gap year to better his matric results, in order to pursue a career as a clinical psychologist, Wonder Buhle Mbambo realized his true passion which was the Arts.

Mbambo said that he had dreams of being a clinical psychologist but he did not have the grades to do so.

“I took a gap year to rewrite some of my papers in order to better my matric results. That is when I started drawing to pass the time” he said.

Mbambo said he met someone who told him to go to Bat Centre [a community arts development and cultural entertainment centre], where they offer Visual Arts classes. “I went there but they told me that it was already full and I can apply to start classes the following year. I was lucky enough to be selected to study in 2010,” he explained.

He said that’s where everything started for him as an artist because it shed a light on what art is: “The course was one year long and, at the end of it, I was given an award for being the best student. The award also came with a studio where I could do my work,” said Mbambo.

The artist said that, right after he started doing his own work, he was given a scholarship by the African Art Centre. Also, in the same year, he was among a selected group of artists that went to Germany, saying: “We went there to collaborate with other artists and it was a great experience for me as it was my first time leaving the country.”

He said a lot had happened in 2011 and, when he came back from Germany, he had more knowledge on what he wanted to do regarding his career.

“I started doing exhibitions in groups in different spaces until 2015 when I decided to apply for an Arts residence,” said Mbambo.

Arts Residences offer artists and other creative people a time and space away from their usual environment and obligations.

Mbambo said his experience saw him grow and encouraged him to have his own solo exhibition this year. For mor information contact him on 072 972 7532.