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Pain inspires Willemina Gwambe's art

Entertainment - Date: 24 June 2019

Written by: Mbulaheni Ridovhona / Viewed: 2053


Losing your loved ones is painful and hard to deal with, but Willemina Mamoraka Gwambe has found solace in art. 

The 26-year-old artist from Tshilamba in the Mutale area said that she had always been interested in art, but it was a once-off thing. "I became devoted to art after I lost my mother Irene and sister Dudu Gwambe a year apart. To deal with loss and depression I started teaching myself art, making use of Google and YouTube," she said. 

The social work graduate from the University of Pretoria said that the deaths of her loved ones motivated her to become an artist. “I lived in times where cellphones were still developing, and I did not have enough pictures of them. The aim was to recreate their images in an artistic form.”

The self-taught artist said that she used mud to make her art. "I use a variety of art materials, but my newly found medium is mud. It is a natural resource, easily accessible and when I compare it with other mediums, it produces better results than any other medium. I discovered that I could use mud to paint when I stayed with my grandmother in Vondwe," she said. "Art is a hobby, but I consider it my full-time job because, since I graduated in 2016, I haven't had any luck in securing a job in social work."

She recently started a non-profit organisation (NPO) called Willeminartist Sanctuary. "I started Willeminartist Sanctuary because of unemployment and a rising need for social workers in communities. I use art as a form of play therapy, and it is very effective when working with mentally challenged and disabled individuals. Disability is not an inability. My sister Tinyiko Gwambe was born without limbs and she graduated with her social work degree this year," she said.

She added that the NPO also offered free art lessons to children living in disadvantaged communities where art was not considered an important discipline. "The only factor hindering the progress of the company is a lack of materials to be able to accommodate everyone," she said. 

She recently won the Arnold Classic Africa art competition. She can be reached on 067 023 2178 or 071 558 1718 or at




Ons of Willemina's art works.



Mbulaheni Ridovhona

The 22-year-old Mbulaheni (Gary) Ridovhona has been passionate about journalism to the extent that he would buy himself a copy of weekly Univen students' newsletter, Our Voice. After reading, he would write stories about his rural village, Mamvuka, and submit them to the very newsletter for publication. His deep-rooted love for words and writing saw him register for a Bachelor of Arts in Media Studies at the University of Venda, and joined the Limpopo Mirror team in February 2016 as a journalism intern.


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