Portrait of MEC helps pupil in furthering studies

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Drawing a portrait of Eastern Cape finance economic development environmental affairs & tourism MEC Oscar Mabuyane has proven to be a blessing for Tsomo-born artist Ayabonga Vanda, who has been admitted to a renowned provincial art school following Mabuyane’s intervention.
Vanda, a former Zwelixolile Senior Secondary School pupil in Tsomo, has been admitted to the Lady Grey Arts Academy after Mabuyane facilitated this move to one of the top art schools in the country.
Mabuyane met Vanda during a back-to-school visit to Zwelixolile in January.
The budding artist presented the MEC with a portrait he had drawn after hearing news that the MEC was to visit the school.
Mabuyane was so impressed by Vanda’s artistic work that he made it a priority to organise for the teenager to be admitted to the academy, enrolling the assistance of some officials from the office of premier Phumulo Masualle.
The academy is the only arts academy in the province.
Vanda on Thursday said he appreciated Mabuyane’s intervention, saying it had changed his life for the better.
He said he was happy to be at the academy compared to his old school, which did not specialise in the arts.
“There is a lot that I will learn here. I will improve my skills and I will be able to teach others in my village the same skills.
“What I learn here will develop me as an artist. I will be able to learn more skills so that I can produce my own paintings, portraits and cartoons, to sell to local and international buyers,” Vanda said.
Mabuyane, who visited the academy to see how the aspiring artist was doing on Thursday, said he’d decided to assist Vanda get into the art school after he noted his artistic skills.
“He showed me a portrait of myself he drew at the school. Upon enquiry from his then teachers and engaging him about his interests, it was clear that getting him enrolled at the arts academy was the best thing for him. Vanda’s skills will be improved here and he will be a better professional to help his family and give them a better life. This proves that working together as government and business we can achieve a lot of things,” the MEC
Mabuyane also thanked Nedbank for having donated a number of tablets to the arts academy.
One of Vanda’s new teachers, Fredrick Viljoen Mathee, said: “Ayabonga is very talented. We are very glad to have him. Our focus is to develop learners to be the best artist.”..

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