Ngoni’s star continues to shine

A piece named “Boatlaname” will most certainly take the artist’s followers back to the times when “go ya kgonnye” was what every lass or maid – as in unmarried young woman -did partly drawn to the chore by the freedom that came with being in the woods. KGOSI GASEBALWE SERETSE previews his work.

One of Botswana’s most talented artists, Wilson Ngoni, is set to have an exhibition titled “When A Big Star Shines” at Thapong Visual Arts Centre from 5 to 20 March 2020.

There is no doubt that the “big star” of the exhibition will be Ngoni himself, he being one of the most versatile artists that this country has ever produced. Without a shadow of a doubt, the painter is one of those artists whose stars have been shining very brightly. He started his painting career since his student days at Moeding College in Otse where he won numerous awards for his captivating works.

When it comes to exquisite artworks, Ngoni occupies a lofty place up there and his pieces are a must-have for collectors. One can safely say here is Botswana’s Michelangelo or Leonardo da Vinci because it is clear that a time comes when art connoisseurs will determine the best art collectors by the answer to question, “Do you own a Wilson Ngoni?

Ngoni is famous for his captivating, thought-provoking and surreal works and, as mentioned before, he ranks as one of the best of the best painters in Botswana. Infact, there are some art critics who believe that Ngoni is the best visual artist in this country and it is obvious that his captivating artworks speak for him. Ngoni has this rare talent of transporting the mind of the art follower to the lands of dreadful but sometimes what can at once be enchanted and awe-inspiring visions. When one looks at Ngoni’s works, it can be as though one was going through a moment of epiphany where something of great import is revealed. The artist has held many exhibitions throughout Botswana and has lost count of exactly how many it been so far. He has also exhibited overseas, one of the most recent being in Germany. Whenever Ngoni exhibits in Botswana, followers of art turn up in large numbers, many of them with a presence of mind to make a purchase, among them tourists.

One of the paintings that Ngoni will be exhibiting is oil on canvas piece called “Wedding Kitchen, Dikgatlhong.” It showcases a woman cooking food in cast iron pots at a wedding presumably at Dikgatlhong. Eating meals prepared in such Dutch pots is one of those delights that people always look forward to ahead of celebrations in Botswana, and this will make “Wedding Kitchen” one of the most outstanding works at this exhibition. Another piece is titled “Sunflower” and it showcases a San woman wearing a beatific smile. It is worth noting that the San are some of the most enduring subjects of the artist.

“Boatlaname” is the name of yet another work that is expected to be on display at the exhibition. It features young girls returning from collecting firewood in the bush. This piece will most certainly take the artist’s followers back to the times when “go ya kgonnye” was what every lass or maid, as in unmarried young woman, did partly drawn to the chore by the freedom that came with being in the woods. “Hive” is another painting that will capture the imagination of Ngoni’s throng of followers for the three bees that are attracted to a succulent red apple.

The talented artist has a studio in the scenic village of Kopong where he is expected to complete between 30 and 35 pieces for the exhibition, among the pieces just mentioned. All the artworks for this exhibition are expected to be oil on canvas.

Ngoni is also a budding author who already has a semi-autobiographical book titled “Doors To My Eyes” to his name. The book is as captivating as his paintings, although his greater strength is clearly on Wilson Ngoni as a painter.