Artist aims to shine a spotlight on gender-based violence

Art by 26-year-old Blessed Nyakarize. Picture: Supplied

Art by 26-year-old Blessed Nyakarize. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 14, 2024


Art plays a crucial role in society, but it is often under-funded and thought of as a ‘useless’ career as it can be relatively less lucrative than others.

However, this does not change art’s impact to inspire, entertain and drive positive change in communities.

Blessed Nyakarize, 26, knows all about this as a full-time artist. He wants to use art to spread awareness about gender-based violence (GBV), while creating a career out of what he loves.

The mediums Nyakarize uses are coffee, charcoal, and acrylic paint. Picture: Supplied

Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, the creative and other kids would often play with clay and create sculptures. He later moved to Claremont, Gauteng.

Through this, his passion for art arose.

“This opened me up and I got inquisitive about art and wanting to learn about the different types of art,” he said.

“At school, we were introduced into sketching and later on in life, I got introduced to more artist who used different types of mediums – this is what birthed the use of coffee in my artworks.”

While the artist attended art school for a brief while, he also learned through social media.

The mediums Nyakarize uses are coffee, charcoal, and acrylic paint.

“I draw and paint human figures which express different emotions and aspects of life,” Nyakarize said.

“My art is motivated by life, the man behind the human – their expressions and feelings that they tend to hold within, due to not being certain how the world would perceive them.”

The young man is inspired by the world, his family, and the community he lives in.

“The conversation about gender-based violence is important and needs to be continued, as it is constantly scarring families. Some of my artworks are towards creating awareness of gender-based violence, especially the pain that it brings, and showcasing the spirit of the victim,” he added.

Nyakarize is currently working on a body of work of 10 artworks he hopes to complete before the end of March.

“My goal is to play a role in society through engaging with my work and allowing people to question life and understand that emotions, too, are important.”

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