Bukhosi Nyathi | Poet, painter and sculptor

Bukhosi Nyathi is a Zimbabwean poet, painter, and sculptor whose work blatantly speaks to deep issues affecting humanity. He utilizes his artwork to express perceptions about the abuse of power, religion and even the disposition of Africans. His father, a welder by profession, encouraged him to pursue his artistic talent. He has participated in various group exhibitions such as the Intwasa Arts festival. He has also had exhibitions at places such as Museum Africa,  Freedom and Responsibility, the I Store Gallery in Sandton, ‘Freedom of Mind, Body and Soul’, The Soweto Theater, Black Like Us as well as Prize Excellence In Graphite.

My Definition Of Success | Success to me means that I have achieved a point of equilibrium and a state of independence in what I do. I also want to be able to inspire. It means another form of happiness and access to greater possibilities. Of course over the years my definition of success has changed, learning as you grow that it takes more than just your talent, passion and determination to be successful. With all these put together is the advancement that aid your craft.

Bukhosi-Nyathi-3My Highlights | The first highlight of both my life and career would have to be when I decided to study art in 2005 at Mzilikazi Art & Craft Centre, with my father advising me as I was clueless. The first studio I had was at the Bulawayo National Gallery, also another school that I attended is Funda Community College were I obtained my diploma. This is what catapulted me into the art world. My first oil painting, named “Mata Hari” was bought by the American embassy and this motivated me to do more work. Another highlight was when I launched my website www.ubukhosi.co.za . Being a part of the growing collective called Underground Citizens is another highlight of my career.  Another highlight of my career was when I was featured in a worldwide brand in an advert called “Black Got Flow” on youtube or www.madeofblack.com most recent highlight of my career is working with Room 13 facilitating art classes as an artist in residence, as this is an opportunity to share skills and possibilities for young artists.

A Key Talent | Being a multi-disciplined artist is an interesting thing and enjoyable. I strongly think that fine art has been the ladder of my success although both poetry and modeling have also catapulted that part of my career. I would firstly advise readers to find what they are passionate about, learn it and advance in it. I will also advise them to read more, go to seminars that are relevant to what they do. Practicing your craft every single day. Consult with your former lecturers or fellow colleagues in the field to give you constructive criticism, networking and even doing an apprenticeship. Be determined “be in it to win it.”


The Characteristics Of Success | Selling my artwork and constantly producing work motivates me to do more and more.


Principles I Live By | The principles and values that I believe are important to live by are the ones that were instilled in me by how my parents raised me.  By staying true to myself, believing in righteousness, sticking to one thing at a time and to be consistent.


Bukhosi-Nyathi-2Critical Skills I Develop | As an artist you are born with the craft then you nurture it.  Identifying the necessary skills to help build you into a successful artist is important. Being good at your craft is not good enough, you have to learn business skills, how to talk to people and sell your work. That is how you survive in the industry. Once you have mastered your craft nothing and no one can take that from you, there is a famous quote I like “everyone is born an artist, but the problem is how to remain one when you grow”. With any talent you need to have skills to conquer your world, for me, all that I have learnt help me. The things I am constantly trying to work on are my networking skills, project proposal writing skills.


Lessons I Have Learnt | The most important lessons I have learnt so far is to always be punctual, to be patient and to know who you are. Knowing what your brand is about and what you are selling as a brand is also important to staying true to yourself and what you stand for.


Performing At My Peak | I always try to stay relevant and in touch with the contemporary art world. Going back home, to Zimbabwe, every once in a while is also very therapeutic because I love visiting the rural areas for the fresher air that is unpolluted. This peace gives me inspiration. I also make sure that I am constantly informed on what is happening around the world and being my own competitor ensures that I am always performing to the peak.


Resources I Use To Stay Inspired | My father is my first inspiration together with my mom. My father is a welder and my mom is a teacher, so I combine both their professions as I am involved with guiding young learners in art. I love music as it inspires me a lot. Sometimes when I paint, I put on some classic music or Baroque music, to help me concentrate more. So it depends on the mood of the day and the subject I am dealing with. Some of my works are inspired by Reggae, African indigenous music and hip-hop music. Reading books like Animal Farm by George Orwell, The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinke also deeply inspires me to do though provoking art work. My love for watching documentaries also brings discussions on insightful topics.

Bukhosi-Nyathi-1My Future Dreams And Ambitions | My dream is to have a successful career throughout my life and to build a legacy that will inspire people to do more than they can imagine, I have a lot of plans and it is a matter of consistency and perseverance in order for them to manifest.

 


On Inspiring Others | To look at the field you are in and pin point all the elements that make up what your craft is about. Then look for the people in it and these should be the people who have what you want, to keep you inspired as you attract what you imagine. I think being humble, respectful, ambitious, courageous and always transparent is helpful. Transparency is important when working with people as relationships will last longer and you will attract more people. Always be ready to learn.


I Am Inspired By | I am inspired by a lot of people whose names could cloud a dictionary, but just to name a few;  George Nene, Dumile Feni, Earnest Mancoba, Charlse Nkosi and  Jean Mitchel Basquat.