Cape Town - Forty-four-year-old Zimbabwean artist Raphael Jamu has drawn a remarkably lifelike portrait of Hifekepunye Pohamba to celebrate the former Namibian President’s 86th birthday.
Driven by his passion for Pan-Africanism, Jamu has already done 30 other portraits of great African leaders as part of an independent project of the Namibian Embassy in Zimbabwe.
The founding president of the Hillock Arts Foundation recently told The Southern Times that the portrait he did of Pohamba was inspired by the fraternal ties between Namibia and Zimbabwe.
“l made the portrait as a birthday present to Former President Pohamba, and for me it is a sign of unity between the two countries. The drive of the artwork is my love for Pan-Africanism, unity and the need for us to honour African leaders.
“It also delights me to see His Excellency turning 86-years-old and still be in good shape,” said Jamu.
He said he would soon hand over the painting at Namibia’s Embassy in Zimbabwe.
Jamu added, “Whether the portrait is going to be delivered to His Excellency or displayed at the Embassy together with the other portraits that I have done previously, the pleasure is equally the same.
“The Namibian Ambassador to Zimbabwe is in charge of the other 30 portraits of former African presidents which I have done over the last year and they are currently on display at the embassy.
“I was advised to do the paintings of the former African presidents by the Dean of African diplomats in Zimbabwe, Mawampanga Mwana Nanga, who is the Ambassador of the DRC in Zimbabwe.”
Jamu is a visual artiste based in Lake Chivero, Norton, Zimbabwe.
He started art at the age of seven in 1983 when he was in Grade 1 at Chebanga Primary School in Mhangura.
Jamu believes art is a gift from God, and he resolved to nurture that gift through high school and eventually attaining a Diploma in Art from the Peter Birch School in of Art.
He also holds another qualification from the Maryland Institute College of Art.
Juma established the Hillock Arts Foundation, which is an international art organisation that seeks to unlock children’s talents and set them on the path to making a career out of their passion.