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Motebang passionate about fine art

As a 13-year-old he would sit besides his father’s friend, Thabiso Monyako, and watch him draw some cattle.

It was from those small interactions with his mentor that Motebang became hooked to art.

“I asked my mother to pay Ntate Monyako for my drawing lessons and it took me two months to learn the basics,” Motebang says in an interview with XpressPeople.

Motebang says while he loves fine art in general it is “painting and drawing that makes me tick”.

Eleven years after he began his journey into the fascinating world of art, Motebang can now eke a living from what he has always enjoyed — drawing portraits.

As we sat down for a quick interview at Pioneer Mall in Maseru, Motebang is the embodiment of confidence.

“I have been working here since the last week of April. Basotho have shown tremendous faith in me by coming to get their portraits drawn while others just offer words of support,” he says.

Motebang says having people watch him draw the portraits “helps me refine my art at a speedy pace”.

“The adrenaline they bring makes it very exciting. And the looks on their faces when seeing the drawing in the making just motivates me,” Motebang says.

He says he will be travelling to Port Elizabeth at the end of the month to explore new horizons.

“I want to try and familiarise myself with the southern African art industry so I will be visiting different African countries starting with South Africa,” he says.

“I currently have a spot at the Waterfront Mall in Bloemfontein every first weekend of the month, which is a great opportunity to market myself.”

“I am most comfortable when drawing and painting than sculpting. I feel spiritually connected to my Creator because regardless of how hard I tried to run away from art, I kept coming back,” he says.

Motebang says he spent two months of intensive study under Monyako which gave him an opportunity to learn the basics.

“After my Matric I decided to study Fine Arts and Graphics at Motheo College in Bloemfontein for a year in 2008,” he says.

“From 2009 to June 2011, I studied at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein where my main subjects were painting and photography.”

Motebang however dropped out of CUT last year due to financial difficulties.

He says he then tried to look for a job elsewhere but found it difficult to work in any other field which was not art-related.

“I returned home where I worked on my first painting. It took me six months to complete the painting because I had forgotten all the basics.

“Being my first solo piece I saw it as the best of all the paintings I had done while in school,” he says.

He says he only began seriously drawing portraits when he was on a visit to Botswana last year.

“While visiting there I decided to draw a friend while chilling at the mall. People immediately gathered around to see what was going on.

“I then realised that I possessed a special skill that I could turn into a career,” he says.

In April, he set up a spot at a mall in Bloemfontein, and as they say, the rest is history.

A few weeks later he decided to return home and see how Basotho would respond to his art.

“I was stunned by the support and interest I received during the first weekend at Pioneer mall,” he says.

“I love visiting different art galleries for inspiration. I would love to also see my work displayed in an art gallery even though I am still not too sure whether I want this to be a career.

“I still want to study animation as I am still in the process of finding my comfort zone. But drawing will always be a part of my life.

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