Artist behind the three hands Mmabana drawing

Thato Seboko busy on the wall

Born and bred in Itsoseng Township, North West Province Thato Seboko says he has been an artist since the age of 7. The Fine and Applied Arts National Diploma graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology also has his painting on the Mmabana Arts and Culture Mafikeng wall.

The painting is still there and was done last year February. Seboko explains that there were four artists painting on that wall and each one had to come up with their own concept.

He shares that his painting was different because it was more on challenging the thinking than aesthetics. “While I was serving as an intern at the Department of Arts and Culture one of my colleagues was deaf. We used sign language in the office”. “I got my inspiration from that. I painted three hands that say art. I did not add anything else to the sign language”, explained Seboko.

Some of his recent work includes a mural at the Itsoseng Youth Centre. The mural is basically a collage of all the activities that happen at the centre.

Seboko, popular trending with the name Thato Sbk, shares that he draws inspiration from everything around him. Some of his paintings are a comparison of the life he has lived in Pretoria as compared to that of Itsoseng. He has also done works on abuse, children, environment and so on. Having experience with different art materials, Seboko is now using hair dye.

The passionate artist reveals that there is some work that he is attached to but a more specific one that he is never selling to anyone. In 2009 his brother had a daughter, 2010 December he died in a fatal car accident. 2011 Seboko did a pen drawing of his brother and daughter. “That was an emotional piece for me. That was the closest piece I have ever been through. I am never selling that one”, said Seboko.

“In the township, being an artist is seen as a hobby. When I used to tell me parents that I am going to study art, they will say that art is not a career”. “I am trying to change that perception of us black people looking at art as a hobby. That is not just for white people. Us blacks can take this thing and make a living out of it. And also have fun with it”, said Seboko.

Article also published on Mafikeng Mail of 15 December 2017 Updated on 29 February 2020

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