Learner artist's work showcased at Suidoosterfees festival

Gift Wamala, grade12 artist learner at Apex High School. Picture:Brendan M

Gift Wamala, grade12 artist learner at Apex High School. Picture:Brendan M

Published May 27, 2023

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Gift Wamala , a Grade 12 learner from Apex High School, had an opportunity to showcase her drawings at Suidoosterfees festival.

The festival is a celebration of local modern culture and heritage within a framework of fun, colour and a non-stop vibe. The 18-year-old had to produce nine artworks for the festival, and said she was proud of what she had accomplished.

She said her love for art started at a very young age and she had always loved it, and that people, plants, insects and animals were always her inspiration.

A baby girl in water, one of Gift’s drawings. Picture:Supplied.

“One thing that inspired me most was the way God designed every creature he made, and that is where my love for art also grew from,” said Wamala.

She said she enjoyed drawing, and one of the artworks she enjoyed drawing the most was a picture of a baby girl in water.

“This drawing really gave me the feeling of happiness because she had a huge smile on her face and the innocence in her eyes made me emotional,” she said.

She further said she was over the moon when her work was published at the festival, and this was the first time her art had ever been published.

“My art teacher motivated me a lot as I worked all day. And I must say I felt like a new door had opened in my life,” said Wamala. Her father, Henri Murumba, said he was proud of her and the way she was handling everything.

“Gift is a very good girl, and by the way she is doing things I can say she is professional.There are some challenges, but we pray to God so that she can reach her destination,” he said.

Apex High School Principal Renate van der Westhuizen said it was clear to see that Gift was a talented artist, but it is not her art that impressed her the most.

“What inspired me about Gift is her grit, work ethic and incredible professionalism. For the Suidooster festival, she had to produce nine artworks in approximately two months, while maintaining excellent results in her other subjects and maintaining the household after her mom returned home,” said Van der Westhuizen.

She said Gift worked incredibly hard and put in so many extra hours to commit to this project. She said she was an incredible person, not because of her talent, but because of what she represented.

The Visual Arts teacher at Apex High School, Rozanne Rene Calitz, said their pupils enjoyed taking Visual Arts as a subject because it was a class where they felt safe to express themselves.

“I strongly believe that it is a form of mindfulness that helps with the stresses that some pupils have in their lives. Therefore they can come into my class and be exactly who they are without any judgement,” said Calitz.

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