Rasta’s painting of Joseph Shabalala could sell for R150k

Rasta planned to give the painting to the Shabalala family.
Rasta planned to give the painting to the Shabalala family.
Image: Via @SiphamandlaGoge Twitter

Celebrity funeral painter Lebani “Rasta” Sirenje has found national fame with his portraits and plans to sell his latest artwork, of Joseph Shabalala, at an exhibition later this year.

Rasta painted the portrait ahead of the late Ladysmith Black Mambazo founder's funeral on Saturday, using leather as his canvas.

He planned to give the painting to the Shabalala family, but was told to keep it to sell at the special exhibition.

“Rasta has been invited to show his painting at the exhibit. He painted a mural and wanted to give it to the family, but we felt that instead of putting it in the house, why not create a platform for him to show and sell it.

“Baba Shabalala was all about developing and empowering others. It is not only about Rasta, but all painters who want to contribute,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo manager Xolani Majozi told TshisaLIVE.

Repeated attempts to contact Rasta for comment were unsuccessful at the time of publishing this article, but he told Daily Sun: “He (Xolani) said the best option is to sell it at the exhibition. He told me it is of value and can be sold for R150 000. I wouldn’t mind getting as little as R50,000 for it.”

The proceeds from the exhibition will go to the Joseph Shabalala Foundation, which provides funding to several community outreach projects.

“The exhibition came after we got several requests from painters and artists who wanted to honour baba Shabalala. So we decided to put a showcase together to raise funds and benefit the artists,” Xolani added.