The Sunday Mail
visual art is taken seriously at tertiary level but the same cannot be said for primary and secondary education.
This has led to calls by many educationists to consider remodelling the curriculum to nurture raw talent at an early stage.
However, current circumstances have not deterred some talented young people from pursuing the art.
One such individual is Dylan Mabika (17), who is already showing signs of being a great visual artist in the making if his portraits are anything to go by. A glance at one of his best works, a portrait of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is enough to prove that the teenager knows how to use his pencils.
The detail in his work is refined. It would be difficult to believe that he has only been at it for two years, without anyone holding his hand. Genius is an often misused word, but in this instance, it is the perfect term to describe this self-taught art prodigy, whose talent sets him apart from most kids his age.
While pencil drawings are his stronghold, his experimentation with colour pieces is producing magnificent works that would make some “professional” turn green with envy. In an interview with The Sunday Mail Society Dylan said he started getting serious with art while in high school after being inspired by another student.
“I used to enjoy drawing cartoons but when I was in form three, there is an A-Level student who transferred to our school who was good with portraits.
“I was impressed with his work and decided to give it a try. I started practicing on my own and before long I got the hang of it.”
While the strides he has made on his own so far are amazing, the youngster is still eager to expand his knowledge of the craft. Having finished O-Level last year, finding a school that offers visual art subjects at A-Level is proving to be a daunting task as those that do are expensive and out of reach for his parents’ pockets.
“I wanted to go to a school that offers art subjects but at the moment my parents cannot afford but I am hopeful that something will come up. Everything that I know about the craft, I taught myself but I want to learn more so that I improve in every other way and also expand to other areas like painting.”
Although Dylan might still be doing portraits from home at a leisurely pace, it is just a matter of time before his work starts hitting gallery spaces if he stays the course.