Sketching for dear life

Thabiso Mahlaba is a budding artist living in Freedom Square, Mangaung. PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

As a young boy, Thabiso Mahlaba always had a pencil and eraser in his pocket. Little did he know that these simple tools would unlock a passion for art. “I would always try to sketch my teachers during class. As time went, I realised that the more work I put in and the more I carried on drawing, my drawings were developing into something.”
The budding young artist was born in Harrismith and grew up in Qwaqwa. After completing school, he moved to the City of Roses to pursue his studies in art. He qualified as an artist in 2016 with a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the Central University of the Technology.
“There aren’t a lot of jobs for someone with a diploma in fine arts, so you have to create employment for yourself. As my business grows and word-of-mouth spreads, I have gained more clients. This has helped me to be able to buy more materials.”

One of the sketches Thabiso Mahlaba did.

Mahlaba uses pencil and charcoal to produce his masterpieces. He has done many portraits of celebrities, including Manaka Ranaka, Trevor Noah and A.K.A in hopes of promoting his work. “People can also visit my channel on YouTube where I do drawing tutorials by typing my name as it is, “Thabiso Mahlaba”, and the videos will show up.”
He currently works as a part-time employee at a food chain store, but hopes that with exposure his work will open up new career paths for him.To find out more about Thabiso Mahlaba’s work, contact him at  078-781-5157.