GABORONE, BOTSWANA — A talented Botswana artist, Thabiso Junior Kefalotse is one happy creative who has been using social media to market his artistic prowess and propel his dreams further.
Just like Tony Robbins, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible”, Thabiso is currently riding on the crest of a wave as his drawings have now become a hit with celebrities and Batswana alike.
Quite popular now is his drawings of celebrity portraits in different forms, be it charcoal or pencil. He perceptibly says his valour to draw celebrities was to engage people faster as celebrities are conspicuous and their fans will in one way or the other relate and become aware of his skills.
Kefalotse has drawn portraits of stars such as Steve Harvey, Denzel Washington, Trevor Noah, Han-C, Khumo Kgwaadira, Rowan Atkinson, Chris Hemsworth, Kwesta, Cassper Nyovest, Khuli Chana, Prince KayBee and Lionel Messi just to name a few.
The same stars have acknowledged his artistic ability translating into real time conversions proving that indeed the sky’s the limit for this young artistic Motswana. Speaking to Botswana Unplugged recently, Kefalotse said there is a lot going on in his career adding that everything is panning out as he had anticipated.
Amongst many of his career highlights is working with international acts such as South African DJ Prince KayBee, which he says is the beginning of bigger things to come for his art studio.
Narrating on how he met his calling, Thabiso says it dates back to his primary school days.
“Art is the matter of practicing even when you are naturally gifted – keep practicing, I started out as a kid. I discovered myself, drawing people’s faces in primary, which was just stick drawing, always intrigued but with me I will put emphasis on details.
When I got to secondary school I knew that my optional subject would be art. However things took a nosedive at tertiary when I enrolled for a BA in Media Studies at University of Botswana (UB). Like they say that you can take the lion from the wild but not the wild from the lion, early this year I was back with my studio utensils. I had to quit my job to concentrate more and elevate my art career,” he recalled.
Now enjoying the limelight that come with his craft, Thabiso needs to fast track his business aspirations with a business partner already on sight. Quizzed about his next move other than portraits and using social media to sell his art, the media shy artist said he will let his art to do the talking.
However, he revealed that early next year he will stage a solo exhibition to showcase to all art aspirants that one can make a sustainable living with art.
“I don’t like revealing my next moves as I want my art to speak for itself. I want it to be spontaneous. I already know the direction of my art, I am working on a solo exhibition and it will not only attract investors but also touch other people who want to pursue a career in art to see it as a sustainable career move.
There is no segregation. It’s a viable career as others in blue collar jobs. So this exhibition will take place early next year. For now I am engaged to exhibit at Thapong Visual Arts’ Artist of the Year exhibition. I am here for big things, I want to groom kids and this will be part of my legacy and further cementing my brand. Collaborations are also on the cards,” he revealed.
Thabiso’s push is also motivated by the recent President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s passion for the arts which automatically draws a lot of admiration to the creative arts industry.
“The current administration has expressed admiration towards arts, however we can’t be reliant on government all the time so we have to push our own limits.”
Though he didn’t want to elaborate more on to his art, which was recently presented to Steve Harvey in his short stint in Botswana, Thabiso is happy that his art has reached the international stage.