Artist hopes for 2010 score

SET TO SOAR: Jabu Masinga with his student Vusi Mbhete. Pic. Riot Hlatshwayo. © Sowetan.
SET TO SOAR: Jabu Masinga with his student Vusi Mbhete. Pic. Riot Hlatshwayo. © Sowetan.

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

A Swazi man, who lives in Mpumalanga, is teaching South Africans to make sculptures in a bid to generate jobs ahead of the 2010 World Cup.

Jabu Masinga, 49, from Nkhaba village near Mbabane, is creating his artworks at the Mpumalanga township of Thulamahashe near Bushbuckridge. He is currently training two men.

Masinga dreams of making it big in the international art market and hopes visitors to South Africa during the World Cup will take note of his work.

"By the time 2010 arrives, I shall have made great progress in producing art as well as teaching other people in South Africa about the trade.

"I'm sure people from other countries will be taking more than memories home to prove they were in South Africa," Masinga said.

One of his statues depicts a man pouring his savings from a small basket into a bigger one and stands in front of the Swazi Development and Savings Bank in Mbabane.

He hopes the department of education will allow him to teach art at schools under the auspices of his company, JBF Art World Creation.

"I'm a teacher by profession and by heart.

"One thing I'm sure of is that it's better to teach a person about how to catch a fish instead of giving him one because you won't always be there for that person," said Masinga.

He said he worked with well-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.

They are now able to create their own statues of lions and birds.

"This man is gifted and we are happy that he is prepared to share his gift with us," said Mbhete.

"We can look forward to a very bright future since some of these creations can be sold for R15000," he said.

Masinga said he thanked God for giving him his talent because after the death of his three brothers and two sisters he was forced to take care of their children.

He managed this by selling his artworks.