Zakhele Hlabisa has turned his hobby into a career.The artist has loved drawing since he was seven. Back then he used to draw his teachers and everything he saw and loved, but all that has changed. The 31-year-old from Mtubatuba, northern KZN, now specialises in drawing portraits of his favourite political leaders. “I’ve drawn portraits of leaders such as former president Jacob Zuma, IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi, Minister of Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethwa and KZN Art and Culture MEC Bongi Sithole-Moloi,” he said.Zakhele said he completed matric in 2004 but couldn’t study further because both his parents were unemployed.“My life changed in 2009 when I visited the Durban Art Gallery.“I met an artist who advised me to join an art programme in my home town,” he said.Zakhele said he found a centre in St Lucia, northern KZN, where he trained for three years and learnt the basics of drawing.“I completed my training in 2011. I then went back to work at home until 2013 when I found galleries to exhibit my work,” said Zakhele.His work is available at Zulu Lulu Art House in Hillcrest and African Art Centre in Durban.He said his talent means he’s able to pay his bills and buy his parents whatever they need.
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