BY CHELSEA MUSAFARE
DISABLED painter Givean Thomu (26), who is doing wonders with his exceptional drawings and paintings done using his mouth, has decried the general lack of appreciation of visual art in the country.
The talented painter, who makes a living out of his artistic work, told NewsDay Life & Style that lack of appreciation had hampered his growth in the arts sector.
“I am facing many challenges as art is my source of living. I survive on selling my artworks.
Though art has a lot of money, in Zimbabwe people do not pay much for it and it is difficult to sell here as compared to other countries,” he said.
Thomu expressed concern over the reluctance by local promoters to support visual artists.
“I am lacking support to grow. I am having difficulties when it comes to promoters. The challenge is that we do not have people who want to support us. I have drawn a couple of famous Zimbabwean people but the drawings have not reached them,” said the artist who has done portraits of First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, socialite Pokello and businessman Genius Kadungure, aka Ginimbi.
The Karoi-born painter, who lost both arms at six in a horrific car accident, said his desire was to pursue his dream beyond the country’s borders where art was valued.
Thomu, who is also a keyboard player, said he was working on his first book, Hands Off! Living a Life Without Limits.
He said painting was an in-born gift as he began drawing at a young age and fully discovered his career four years ago after receiving training at Jairos Jiri Vocational Training Centre in Bulawayo before moving to Mzilikazi Art Craft Centre to sharpen his painting skills.