Ennock Mlangeni is fast becoming a social media sensation with his impressive pen sketch portraits of celebrity newsmakers.
Mlangeni, 27, a self-taught artist from Zamdela township in the Free State, has been making waves since he drew a portrait of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela after her death.
Two weeks ago the drawing won Mlangeni R30000 in prize money at the BIC Art Master talent search 2018, held in Cape Town.
Mlangeni said his art is inspired by strong women like his grandmother Esther Thokwane who raised him after his parents died when he was just seven years old.
“Although Gogo was unemployed when my parents died, I never went to bed on an empty stomach,” he said.
Mlangeni, who sketched an A3-size portrait of the late hip-hop star Jabulani “HHP” Tsambo last week, received high praise on social media for his excellence.
His passion for art started in grade 4, leading him to win the Techno X Art Competition three years in a row from 2011 to 2013.
“After grade 12 I could not further my studies [due to lack of funds]. I polished my art skills further and made it my career,” he told Sowetan yesterday.
He said his work got noticed through marketing himself on social media and he has made a name for himself as Ennock-M Art.
He is now planning to build an art studio in his hometown to develop talent and help his community.
Mlangeni, who also recently used coffee powder to paint a portrait of DJ Black Coffee, said he made the painting as part of Nestle Ricoffy's heritage edition.
The trial of Pastor Tim Omotosso, where his alleged rape survivor Cheryl Zondi testified, also inspired Mlangeni to pay tribute to Zondi’s bravery with a portrait.
He said he drew Zondi to show support to her because of the “harsh tragedies” that have been happening to women is SA.
“I felt inspired by her speaking out and the bravery she displayed on national TV about her sexual assault and breaking the silence,” said Mlangeni.
He sells sketches to customers for up to R15 000 depending on the size of the portrait.
“Style is unique and I aim my art at people who purchase investment art,” said Mlangeni.
Mlangeni has also done portraits of mining magnate Patrice Motsepe and former US president Barack Obama.