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Artists must focus on creating impressive work- Sekantsi

Bataung Moeketsi

LOCAL artists must focus on creating impressive work and be patient as rewards will follow later, Sekantsi Mokhohlane has said.

The artist said this in an interview with the Xpress People on Friday.

“I am of the opinion our generation is much more aware of local artists and their exploits,” Sekantsi said.

“Whether that is enough to create an industry is yet to be seen. Many Basotho youths are in fact interested in the various forms of art be they visual.”

Sekantsi said that artists are capable of creating a viable industry built on “information outlets, events, products and standards of excellence”.

Like many others, Sekantsi is a self-taught artist whose love for illustration and animation started at a tender age.

His father was both disciplined and ambitious, and would always encourage him to improve his skillset by purchasing textbooks which he would fill with his drawings.

Some of his biggest influences have since included comic book artist, Todd Mcfarlene, anime (a style of Japanese film and television animation) artiste Ken Sugimori and video game artists Tetsuya Nomura and Yoji Shinkawa.

“I couldn’t have been older than nine when I instantly fell in love with the art form when I first saw Disney movies and anime shows like Voltron, Tenchi Muyo and of course Pokémon,” Sekantsi said.

“In fact, my appreciation for these anime shows became so intense that sometimes I wouldn’t even follow the story or on some occasions, I would watch productions that didn’t have English subtitles. I just wanted to see the incredible images and designs.”

Sekantsi said he would go as far as accompanying his creative writing assignments with elaborate drawings when he was Machabeng College between 2005 and 2009. The reaction of his teachers, classmates and parents urged him on.

This was also around the time he began taking commissions for his artwork.

While pursuing a degree in Economics and Management at Rhodes University in 2016, Sekantsi was introduced to digital art and a Wascom drawing tablet by his friend, Teele Sehalahala.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Sekantsi did not complete his studies and returned home in 2017 to pursue his passion of being an artist. He is now a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and comic book artiste.

Sekantsi has painted two murals in Maseru, one at Café What and another at the Dirt Mouth battle league offices.

He has also done design work for a local streetwear brand, several album covers and single artworks, educational artwork for school children commissioned by Educational Business Services, redesigned characters created by America-based Blackmoss comics and design work for Cape Town-based organisation The Rap House AND STUFF.

Sekantsi, alongside Teele and Mokhele Ntho, published and launched their first comic book dubbed KSHYZO in 2018. The comic book tells a story of a powerful alien whose mission is to stop a potential world ending event.

“The story will take many unexpected turns and will ask the reader to evaluate their stance on good and evil,” Sekantsi said. He said they are hoping use the comic book to depict Lesotho to the outside world.

Although only one episode has been released, the trio is aiming towards publishing 25 episodes.

“I would hope to take my comic book career as far as possible here at home.

“Lesotho will always be given preferential treatment for KSHYZO following the amount of support that we got but I am still aiming to penetrate foreign markets,” Sekantsi said.

 

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