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A dark cloud hovers over the visual arts sector following the passing away of two artists Charles Kamangwana a talented painter and lecturer at the National Arts Gallery and multi-talented Waison Mupedza.

Kamangwana and Mupedza both died on Sunday at St Anne’s and Parirenyatwa Hospitals respectively.

Kamangwana, who is said to have collapsed at his home on May 3 after suffering from a severe headache and an unsettled stomach, was buried on Monday at Chindenga village in Mutoko. Mupedza was buried in Domboshava on Monday.

In a statement, the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe described the two artists as talented artists who did everything in their power to uplift visual arts in the country.

“National Arts Council of Zimbabwe expresses its sincere condolences to the Kamangwana and Mupedza families, The National Arts Gallery of Zimbabwe, the arts fraternity and the nation at large on the untimely passing on of talented visual artists Charles Kamangwana and Waison Mupedza on Sunday 10 May 2015,” NACZ noted.

“The National Arts Council of Zimbabwe will always cherish their dedication and passion in painting, designing, calligraphy and sculpting. Indeed, the arts industry has been robbed of talented artists who have not only exhibited locally but also internationally.”

In an interview with The Herald Entertainment African Renaissance Foundation Executive Director John Chinosiyaani who worked with one of the artists Kamangwana for 25 years described the late as a dedicated artist who had passion for painting and did all he could to assist other artists.

“Charles started painting at primary school level concentrating in wire craft he was great creative man of great heights who earned the name African teacher because of his distinguished works,

He said because of his passion for painting, Kamangwana would sometimes go to an extend of spending nights in shebeens for his paintings.

“He was dreadlocked and many believe that people with dreadlocks are addicted to smoking but Kamangwana never smoked, he was a courageous and aenturous young man who at times would spend nights in shebeens just to get images of his paintings,” he said.

He added that he was an acclaimed international painter whose works was celebrated internationally in countries like Netherlands, France, Germany, and South Africa among others.

Meanwhile, Chinosiyaani said despite being someone who worked tirelessly to put the country’s name on the international map, Kamangwana failed to get a decent burial.

“We are hurt that we didn’t give Charles a decent burial that he deserved, he was stolen from us, he was hoodwinked by death and thrown away like a garbage, what a shame to a great man of great artistry and painting, he is gone as if he never existed, like a flame of fire that ignites and dies down,” he said.

Born in 1972, Kamangwana an internationally recognised painter started painting as a child worked as an instructor of painting and visual arts at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Over the past years, Kamangwana won numerous awards including the 2002 Merit Award from the National Gallery of Zimbabwe.

He staged annual exhibitions in Europe and served as an artist in residence in the Netherlands. In 1999, he was selected to attend the Caversham Press printmaking workshop in KwaZulu-Natal where he received instruction from renowned South African artist David Koloane.

He derived endless inspiration from the streets of Africa and mastered the ability to capture seemingly insignificant moments with striking flair. His characters were often depicted from the back or with murky faces, focusing the viewer’s attention on the larger setting.

His paintings often celebrated the contributions of the working-class. He is survived by his wife and four children.

Source : The Herald

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