A 25-year-old Blantyre-based journalist Gilbert Mwanguku, alias Guy B, is a multi-skilled young man whose talents deserve more than mention because they speak volumes than his tender age and pint size.
Apart from possessing skills of interviewing people and writing newsworthy stories, the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) trained journalist is well known for doing rap and radio deejaying. Yet there lies another great skill in him-the art of drawing.
The soft spoken Guy B wears many hats as far as he is concerned, but his drawing technique has lately revealed his other promising side and taken the arts industry by surprise.
He does more of pencil drawings like portraits, abstracts, cartoons and illustrations about real life situations. He also do paper art, wall paintings, batiks and graffiti.
Guy B has been drawing amazing art works of different people including celebrities, which attract people’s attention on his social media walls.
His drawings of popular celeb couples, musicians, beauty models, football stars, soccer administrators, and media personalities, have recently attracted traffic to his Facebook page.
One of his stunning works is that of veteran musician Wambali Mkandawire, which continues to receive positive reception from thousands of followers of his social media accounts.
Meanwhile, the social media appears to be Guy B’s platform to display and market his professional work to the public.
“The world of today has gone very social. So this is where I meet and interact with people and potential customers,” Guy B spoke highly of the social marketing of his work.
Guy B began his artistic journey at a tender age and still hopes that one day he will breakthrough.
“I can’t really remember when I started drawing, but it all goes back to my primary school days when my father would give me a note book to write lessons at school. But all I could do is draw pictures of movie stars and cartoons,” recalled Guy B, who hails from Mzimba.
He said his father used to buy Moni magazines in which he enjoyed cartoons like Chatsalira and Zeze. He also had collection of Pewani cartoon strips, which inspired him a lot.
Malawi is such a frustrating country where an art is not fully appreciated; hence, lacking support or buying power. Several talented artists invest a lot of resources and energy on daily basis to produce professional work, only to hit the blank wall on the local market.
However, because of frustration and poor business environment for artworks in Malawi, many talented artists have ended up unhappy and poor. Some have simply given up the venture to concentrate on other things to make ends meet.
But how does Guy B visualise the future of his trade?
“First and foremost, I do art because of passion. This is an in born thing and the environment that I live in is what inspires me to do what I do as an artist. I am someone who admires and appreciate the art of others and from that I get inspired to do my own pieces.
“There are times that I do drawings of people for free just to maximise my potential. But I am yet to explore the market possibilities,” said Guy B
He said there was no denying that visual arts in Malawi survive because of few people who appreciate it.
“Had it not been for the few people who give artists encouragements or hope, visual arts in Malawi would have been dead and forgotten by now. Big up to all people who value and support art,” said Guy B, who is also a professional graphic designer.