An avid gamer, Makwavarara’s paintings are satirical, providing commentary on the socio-political condition of Zimbabwe using caricatures, paraphernalia, ‘traditional’ symbols, and iconography.
Kufa Makwavarara’s talent was first recognized by his teachers at Glen Norah primary school where he was often caught drawing on the school blackboards.
Instead of punishing him however, they encouraged him to carry on drawing and throughout his schooling career he won several art prizes at both a local and national level.
He told State of the Art: “My talent was nurtured during primary and secondary education in Glen Norah, Harare, Zimbabwe.At school I would draw some features on chalk boards and my teachers encouraged me to pursue art because the drawings were good.
“I grew up going to church so I decided to put some Biblical verses into paintings, so you will see some paintings with a Biblical background. I did study further for art this helped me to improve my techniques. Due to aspects that inspire my artistic practice you can see that most of my paintings are diverse and have a different concept.”
Education and exhibits
This budding young artist then went on to study at the Zimbabwean National Gallery’s Visual Art Studio from 2001-2003.
Now, with works in both the permanent collection of the Zimbabwe National Gallery, the Delta Gallery (Harare) as well as in the private collection of the Spanish Embassy, Makwavarara’s blackboard days are far behind him.
Although born and raised in the Glen Norah township in Harare, Zimbabwe, Makwavarara now resides in Cape Town.
He draws inspiration from all that surrounds him, his bright palette and striking use of light melding together to produce vibrant scenes of everyday life.
Makwavarara said: “The appreciation of geographical features surrounding social life, current events, personal experiences and different cultures has inspired me to be an artist, who mainly focuses on these aspects in my paintings.”