Interview By Zigoh…
Trooper is a visual artist based in Zomba. Those who have ever gone or lived in Zomba, might know a night club called ‘Vogue Africana’ situated in Matawale. Inside the club are nice paintings. Behind these heavenly pieces of art is Trooper and other visual artists. ToTheTop caught up with Trooper to appreciate more about his talent.
Q. Who is Trooper?
A. Trooper is a self taught pencil and paint artist who is based in Zomba. Trooper is 21 years old and his real name is Peter Wanyanga.
Q. How did you find your self doing this type of art?
A. I started pencil drawing when I was at Primary school but it was not at a serious level. At secondary school its when I started taking it seriously and I saw my self improving a lot, with the help of tutorials on internet, here I am earning a living out of this.
Q. Did you always see yourself doing this as a career?
A. Yes, because I was born with this talent and I wanted to go far with it.
Q. How did your parents receive this taking into account that most parents in Malawi would rather encourage their Children to pursue professional careers like being a Doctor?
A. It was fine with them and I am sure they are even proud of me. I am saying this because my parents tried to get me to college, which they did but due to other issues I dropped out, its when I thought of taking drawing as a career to be helping myself instead of staying idle.
Q. So far, what can you say you have achieved in pencil drawing and painting as a career?
A. Okay, I can say I am now self dependent, I am earning money through this. Adding on this, I have known a lot of people through this art who help me in growing as a visual artist. But I am still growing and I am still not there where I want to be.
Q. So far what are the Challenges you are facing in this industry?
A. First of all, its Prices. People don’t understand the work it takes to get a piece of drawing complete. When we charge our prices they feel ‘tikufuna kuwabela’, so they buy these at a very cheap price. Second its our country, it doesn’t respect and value art. This is the reason why a lot of visual artists go outside in search for green pastures.
Q. Do you have any piece of art of yours which you like most?
A. Mmmmmmmmh, I can say this one (the one on top) its the one I like most because I have improved a lot, although I improve on every art I am doing.
Q. Where do you wanna see yourself in the next 5 years as a visual artist?
A. In the next five years, I would like to open my own Art School, I want to have an art shop where I can exhibit my works and I want to exhibit my works in Europe and many other countries.
Q. What would you like to change in the country for visual artists to start being recognised and benefitting more?
A. I would like to see visual artists coming together to form associations, where we can share ideas and push each other work. In these associations we can be sharing jobs so that every one is benefitting. Furthermore, if the government or corporate world can help us with drawing materials I think it can really help us. This is because many of these materials are expensive and not even available in the country.
Q. Lastly, how can people find you?
A. They can find me on Facebook, I have page “Peter Troopa Art” on Instagram “Petertroopa Art” apa andipeza.