Swazi man on a mission
A Swazi national living in South Africa has taken it upon himself to teach South Africans to sculpt monuments and statues in a bid to create jobs ahead of the 2010 World Cup.
Jabu Masinga, 49, from Nkhaba village near Mbabane in Swaziland, is now creating his art at the Mpumalanga township of Thulamahashe, near Bushbuckridge.
He is teaching two men how to make the statues.
Masinga dreams of making it big in the international art market.
He would be happy if people from various countries, due in South Africa for the 2010 soccer showcase, would recognise his art.
"I've taken this opportunity to make sure that by the time 2010 arrives, I shall have made great progress in producing art, as well as in teaching South Africans the trade.
"I'm sure people from other countries would be interested in taking something back home to show they were in South Africa," said Masinga yesterday.
Among some of the statues Masinga has made is a huge one of an African man pouring objects - "investments" he calls them - from a small basket into a bigger one. It stands in front of the Swazi Development and Savings Bank in Mbabane.
He has formed a company called JBF Art World Creations that he plans to market in a way that might result in the Department of Education giving him an opportunity to teach art.
"I'm a teacher by profession and enjoy teaching others.
"One thing I'm sure of is that it's better to teach a person how to catch a fish rather than giving him one because you won't always be there," said Masinga.
He worked with known artists such as John Wilcox, who has since relocated to Canada, and Emmanuel Sekarambi from Rwanda.
The two men Masinga is teaching are Vusi Mbhete and Agree Ndlovu, who are now able to create statues of lions and birds.
"This man is gifted and we are happy that he is prepared to share the gift with us.
"Because of him, we can look forward to a bright future.
"Some of these creations could be sold for as much as R15000 each," said Mbhete.
Masinga said he thanked God for giving him the talent.
"After the deaths of my three brothers and two sisters, I had to take care of their children.
"I would not have made it without my God-given talent," he said.