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Mukweveri: The young ingenious artist

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One can be taught to develop ideas, think critically and improve the use of one’s creative process, but pure talent is God given and bestowed at birth.
Creative or artistic talent is not for everybody.

Few people are blessed with the innate ability to sing, dance, write or draw with ease, effortless mastery and sheer panache. Being an artist is one of those unique gifts not bestowed to everybody; hence the awe of creating something from the simple movement of the hand, guided by one’s imagination and endearing eye is a talent to behold.

Imagine the ability to hold a pencil and move it gently on a piece of paper, and half an hour later, you have a hauntingly beautiful piece of art! One such young artist making waves in a short space of time through his ability to recreate through drawing and painting is Elisha Mukweveri, a 20 year old member of the Thapong Arts Centre in Gaborone.

Mukweveri recently scooped the second prize at the Thapong Artist of the Year award, walking away with a cool P20, 000 prize money. However, this has not pinnacled his success. He still wants to develop his craft and grow as an artist. Although his work is far from amateurish, Mukweveri feels that he can develop his craft in order to be able to compete at an international level.

Born in Zimbabwe, Mukweveri was raised in Mogoditshane, Gaborone. He completed his secondary school at St Josephs’ Secondary School a year ago, but then decided to take a gap year. He admits that his parents were hesitant at first, but have allowed him to pursue fine arts. “I wanted to take time off to explore my love for art, and be sure this is what I wanted to do. At this point, I know for sure that Fine Arts is my calling.

My parents were not too optimistic about my choice of career because they want the best for me, but seeing my talent and passion has convinced them that this is where I can flourish,” he explains.

Mukweveri singles out one of his former teachers at St Joseph’s Secondary school, Ntau, as a mentor since he encouraged him to push boundaries and step out of his comfort zone. “He introduced me to the works of many great artists like Pablo Picasso, Leonard Da Vinci, Salvador Dali and Michelangelo, to mention a few.

He always encouraged me to keep learning and practising, in order to improve my craft. He saw potential in me, and encouraged me not to waste my talent.” His other mentor is Olemogeng Qaeqhao Moses, who is also a member of Thapong Arts Centre, and one of the respected veteran visual artists in Botswana.
Mukweveri’s winning drawing is now on sale, priced at P6000.

But knowing that this can be a steep amount for art lovers who would want to see it hanging from their living room or bedroom wall, he is willing to negotiate a discount with potential buyers.

Before, Mukweveri never looked at his art as a commercial commodity as he was fuelled by passion. He gave his artworks to his friends and family as gifts, but upon realising that art can be his bread and butter, he is starting to approach his work as a viable business enterprise.

During his school years, Mukweveri has excelled and bagged awards in academics and sports, which cements him as an all-rounder. But it is art that has stolen his heart. He is certain that the world is his oyster, and one day, his name will be mentioned among those of the greatest artists in the world.

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JUST PROPAGANDA

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Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.

It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.

According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.

Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.

“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.

Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.

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ARRESTED FOR RECKLESS DRIVING

Yvonne Mooka

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IN GOOD TIMES: The late Matlhogonolo with Simba in good times

Simba Mooketsi Mampori, 31, of Mbalambi allegedly killed his girlfriend in Bontleng, Gaborone and used her blood to scribble a message on the wall.

The message read, ‘Ke lapisitswe ke maaka’- translated to mean ‘I am tired of lies.’ Matlhogonolo Moshashu’s body was found inside his sister’s rented house in Bontleng.Mampori and Moshashu, 34, had a two year-old child together. Mampori allegedly killed her in March 31 by stabbing her with a screw driver, which was found inside the house. In an interview with The Midweek Sun this week, Otilia Kholiya, one of the tenants in the yard, said that she arrived on that fateful Sunday to find a yellow tape surrounding the yard with the police all over the place.

She said that she was the one who helped with cleaning. “He used her blood and wrote ‘Ke lapile ke maaka.’ I washed all the blood in the house by myself. Although police officers suspect that he used the screw driver they found in the house to kill her, I beg to differ. “That blood was just too much, it must have been something bigger,” she said, adding that they found a new dress that the deceased was going to wear to Mampori’s sister’s baby shower.

Another tenant Nicah Mandefu said that the house belonged to Mampori’s sister and that she rarely slept there and preferred her parents’place in Gaborone. She stated that she saw Mampori with his girlfriend arrive on Saturday around 4pm. “I don’t know him much because the house belongs to his sister. He probably just needed it for the weekend to spend time with his girlfriend who was staying and working outside Gaborone.

“They just greeted me and another tenant as we were sitting in front of our house. They stayed for 30 minutes and left. They would come again around 7pm,” she said. Mandefu said it was the first time she saw the deceased.

Murder
Mandefu said that Mampori’s sister arrived on Sunday around 9am, found her house locked and asked about his whereabouts. “She then told me that the lady he was with was actually his girlfriend and mother of his child,” she said. After some time, the sister returned to tell them that she received a report to say Mampori was found in Mmankgodi where he had tried to hang himself on a tree after killing Mashashu.

Upon failing to kill himself, he drove off recklessly at high speed, thus catching the attention of the police who stopped and charged him with reckless driving. “The police then noticed that he was not well as he had bruises from trying to kill himself. He could not even speak to the police but wrote down his mother’s phone number and gave them the keys to the sister’s house.

“They then took him to Thamaga Primary Hospital to be attended for his wounds on the neck, and later the police called his family and finally drove together to Bontleng where they found his girlfriend dead inside the sister’s house,” the neighbour tenant narrated to The Midweek Sun.

Serial killer
According to Botswana Police Service Deputy Public Relations Senior Superintendent Near Bagali, Mampori is also linked to another murder that occurred on 26 March in Gaborone in which a 39-year old woman from Molepolole was found with stab wounds.

At the time of his arrest, Mampori was awaiting trial for two murder cases committed in Mahalapye and Gaborone in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The deceased were his girlfriends. He was arraigned before Extension 2 Magistrate Court last Wednesday. He is incarcerated and expected back in court on April 17.

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