Meet Qhamanande Maswana, from King Williams Town, South Africa, 24 years of age. Qhamanande is one of the hands that have returned to paint the walls of this world with revisiting depictions. He describes his journey as one of having a gift that has been a burden and yet a blessing – “a burden because once I have conceived a vision I must see to it that it comes to live or I will know no peace and a blessing because once a vision has been brought to life my heart is captured by a fever of contentment.”
Qhamanande is not just a born natural but has, throughout his life, got schooled in the art of being a fine artist and how fine his art is is evident in his work. He has managed to win a few art competitions from his days in high school where he says he decided that he would be an artist, “and I assure you it was no ordinary artist I had in mind,” he said. From his high school years, to further refine his technical skills, he attended Lovedale FET College where, he says, “I was able to focus in polishing my artistic prowess, that’s where I got a different experience and learned a lot about art and obtained my diploma in fine arts, I further went to the University of Fort Here to put on final touches to my arsenal”.
“I love challenges, because in conquering challenges there’s always a lifelong lesson to gain,” he said. Qhama is passionate about his work, and loves to paint and draw. “I am a curious artist who’s always eager to learn and know more. I enjoy exploring because I’m always seeking to know more about other people’s lifestyle in different settings and that’s where I base a lot of my work on. I paint almost every day, I believe it’s important to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment in order to paint it as accurately as experienced.” He made mention of painting only when inspired and working hard at being inspired every day. “If something touched my soul enough for me to paint it, the chances are there is someone out there who may feel the same. Because I think as an artist it is my job to inspire people,” he said.
Qhamanande is a visual artist; a painter who focuses on portrait painting and is also a commission specialist, who focuses on commissioned work for public entities, cooperates, bankers and private collectors. “My art work has that cultural feel, inspired by my background. I grew up in a natural setting, in what would today be known as a rural area (country side), with a beautiful burst of a variety of life and landscapes,” he said. “My work engages the viewer with the roots and the beauty of black people’s culture in South Africa, especially from the uncontaminated parts. It has a modern approach so as to take the viewer through our daily life experiences. My art has a very creative approach as I am a very creative person.”
“I enjoy painting female portraits the most, hahaha, don’t get any ideas; it might be because I have, mostly, been surrounded by females – my siblings and a lot of female cousins,” he said, “Females are wonderful, they are gentle, caring creatures filled with love, their body gestures and facial expression makes it easy to tell what their feeling or going through at that particular moment, and those expressions I capture to tell a story through my art works.” Driven by his photography passion he also captures scenes that are interesting to him he happens to comes across, “while plotting them onto the canvas I then use my creativity and imagination to bring to life the message I intend to share with the public.”
He aims to use his gift as a source of inspiration and influence. He wants to make his art the weapon that transforms norms, and believes with the creativity, passion, gift and goals he has, it can spread, reach out and touch as many souls as there are stars in the sky.
He told us of the first time he discovered he had the talent, “it was 1996, pre-school, at that time I was about 6 years old… Though I don’t remember much from that day but I do remember that the class was given colorful clay and we were told to create anything we want to, not being aware of what I was creating I ended up creating a sculpture which touched and moved my teacher and apparently I was too young to have created such, that’s when other teachers were called to witness the art piece, and from that the day the birth of the star within was given an outlet,” he said, “My parents still remind me of the story and I’ve always took it as one of my motivations.” That is where the journey of touching souls visually started.
He said, “I always knew that God gave me this special gift to stand out and not be like any other person but myself.”
He concluded by saying, “I always advise people to Trust in God and never wait for something one doesn’t have in order to make a move. Working with what one has is always the best, it gets one one step further to achieving ones goals. Follow your heart.”
For a breakdown of standard commissions portraits prices please email:
To see more of the artworks please visit:
Facebook : Qhama Maswana Art
Instagram: que_maswana / #QUESART
Call/whatsapp : 071 779 2101
By Themba Ka Mhlanga