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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Chibaye upholds Ndola’s artistic legacy

By Andrew Mulenga

Coming from a smaller town, it is no mean feat to penetrate an art scene that is concentrated in a large city, particularly the capital. Perhaps this is true to artists anywhere in the world, but more so in Zambia where this scene is essentially none existent and all the art spaces can be counted on one hand, perhaps with fingers to spare.

Brother (oil on canvas) by Emmanuel Chibaye
But recognition is not impossible and 25 year old Emmanuel Chibaye can bare testimony to this. Born and bred in Ndola’s energetic, council-house township of Chifubu, Chibaye was one of the artists announced on this page in the Five young Zambian artists to watch in 2014 list in February.

Outwardly, he does not appear to bear the gigantic ego of a rapper – although he does wear the occasional baggy jeans and hooded sweatshirt or hoodie as cool people say – but his pseudonym definitely does teeter beyond the margins of extravagant self-confidence. He signs his work as 'Giga Psyche' which he says means 'Giant mind'.

So, what is it that goes on in this giant mind? Artistically, it is the processing of portraits, everyday images as well as his own theoretical ideas and encoding them into geometrically inspired abstract paintings that he presents to the viewer in intense and at times inharmonious colours. 

You can see that his style is still very experimental, but in a good way. It is something fresh especially that painting run-of-the-mill realistic work may arguably be suspected as an avenue for cowering away from the challenge of idea-based image making.

Chibaye often has a central, bust-like subject in a front facing portrait configuration as can be seen in King of The Jungle and Self Image, but you can see how he tries to create depth in the paintings using tonal gradation. You can also see he has an almost preoccupied devotion towards breaking down natural forms into cones, cylinders, spheres and planes.

Dialogue (oil on canvas) by Emmanuel Chibaye
Although he prefers working in oil on canvas, he also exhibits exceptional draughtsmanship when working in pen and ink.

Arguably his pen and ink drawings appear more skilfully executed probably owing to his impressive tonal technique, where up close, his oil paintings on the other hand sometimes appear unfinished, such as Brother, a two-faced portrait that looks like it could have used a few more drops of paint. But nevertheless, is it not the Italian master, Leonardo Da Vinci himself who once said “Art is never finished, only abandoned”, so who is one to question Chibaye. 

However it should also be noted that quite a good number of Zambian artists may be found guilty of living by Da Vinci’s words. Every now and then they shamelessly sneak an unfinished work into an exhibition assuming viewers will not notice, but they do. This of course in the long run reduces the general standards in the quality of art.

As for Chibaye, he may or may not live by the words of Da Vinci, but he surely has been inspired by him and several other old masters of the European Renaissance because he used to spend long hours in the Ndola Public Library reading about them and imitating their work.

King of the jungle (oil on canvas) by Emmanuel Chibaye
“When I was in secondary school I used to paint realistically, copying the old masters, then I started experiments with abstract. Like now I use numbers and letters, and then I started using geometric shapes,” says Chibaye who attended Kansenshi Secondary School in Ndola where he was encouraged to be competitive and enter big competitions such as the Mukuba Awards which he attempted twice, and took the second place in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

“I went to Kansenshi in Grade 10. I was excited because I never did art in junior, but I was put in a non-art class so I had to swap. But I had to prove myself to madam Chimwaya and Mr Emmanuel Mwisa my teachers,” he recalls “That’s is where I saw the works of Caleb Chisha, -- the painter -- he was in grade 12 then, two grades ahead of me. The work on the school notice board was better than mine so I looked at it stood quietly and thought I could do it. I started practicing until I got close and was recognised too”.

At home, he used to engage in friendly competition with a close friend, Anthony Chama, now a student of Environmental Engineering at the Copperbelt University. This competition would continue even after secondary school, until Chibaye left for Lusaka to enrol in the three-year Art Teachers Diploma at the Evelyn Hone College that he completed last year.

King of the jungle (oil on canvas) by Emmanuel Chibaye
Actually, it was while in college that he got his big break to start showing works at the privately owned 37d Gallery in Lusaka, currently the country’s place-to-show art space whose name -- perhaps -- ubiquitously darts out of the mouths of Zambian artists in choral harmony owing to its highly successful sales strategy that serves a steady stream of well-healed clients. Right now, everyone wants to show there, so it is certainly a deserving godsend for this talented Ndola youth to be there.

“I started exhibiting at 37d after Emilia saw my work at the Visual Arts Council, that she was the gallery assistant. She asked me to create some more so I did about 15 and they chose some drawings, up to now I’m very thankful to her” he says. 

According to the artist, it was Emilia Alvarez Nordstrom who indicated his name was too long for his paintings, prompting him to adopt the pseudonym Giga Psych. How bizarre if this is true, because a shadowy nick name is going to stick with him for the rest of his budding career and honestly there are Zambian artists with longer names, Gordon Shamulenge for one. Honestly, enigmatic pseudonyms are usually the preserve of editorial cartoonists and graffiti artists whose work is informed by a more edgy political, cultural or social commentary. 

Nevertheless, the young artist is enjoying a good run at the gallery where both his paintings and drawings fetch in the region of K2, 000 (two thousand) a piece after gallery fees. He humorously boasts that in one exhibition he sold four works and was able to clear a debt he accrued in College fees having squandered the resources sent by his parents. 

Silence (oil on canvas) by Emmanuel Chibaye
“Well at times as upcoming artists we feel that we get too little for our work and cannot control the prices but well at least I’m selling. In Ndola there is nowhere to sell art, it’s a disgrace. Even that thing you call Copper belt Museum, what is that?” he asks “Look, we are celebrating 50 years of independence and we don’t have a big museum in Ndola. We have a big stadium that brings foreign teams with their fans. Tell me the first place a foreigner goes to when they are visiting? It’s the museum; now what museum can they see here, it’s a joke”.

He claims if not a museum, Ndola deserves a good gallery because there is a lot of artistic talent and the city has a proven track record citing the likes of Angela Kalunga, Danny Chiyesu, Caleb Chisha and Nsofwa Bowa of the David Livingstone statues. 

Of course Chibaye has the right to dream with regards a gallery, but he may have a point concerning the city’s artistic legacy. 

The town has been home to a number of important artists, among them Adam Mwansa, a multi-discplinary artist who has settled in Luanshya after enjoying an illustrious run that has seen him train at the Wimbledon School of Art in the UK as well as Hague, Netherlands before a long stretch of teaching practice in Botswana. There is also Style Kunda, one of the country’s leading painters known to seamlessly shift from realistic representation to total abstraction; he has works dotted across major Zambian collections as well as abroad. Lawrence Yombwe who co-runs Wayi Wayi Art Studio and Gallery – currently a tourist crowd-puller in Livingstone -- with wife Agnes, pioneering a Mbusa themed artistic concept. 

Giga Psyche aka Emmanuel Chibaye
The late reclaimed wood maestro and founder of Ulendo Studio Friday Tembo whose legacy lives on in his protégés Rabson Phiri and John Miti of Lusaka also claimed “The Friendly City” as his home town.   

William Miko too who is currently a lecturer in Fine Art at the Zambia Open University (ZAOU) as well as Hughes Mwansa of Times Printpak Limited an illustrator who has done extensive work for Macmillan Zambia, Tom Mbumba a multi-disciplinary artist who gained recognition in the area of logo design in the 1990s particularly for Zamtel and the late Jones Muna who made the Catholic Icengelo Magazine’s Bemba comic strip Katona a sensation across the Copperbelt, North Western and Northern Provinces. Ndola was also home to the Arts and Crafts Association of Zambia in Twapia Township.

Chibaye is currently awaiting graduation in July as he also expects a posting as a school teacher. He intends to teach and continue practicing as art as a profession, further studies at degree level is also among his thoughts; as far as what he has to offer, surely the best is yet to come.  

Monday, 19 May 2014

‘Sex on canvas is art, not pornography’

By Andrew Mulenga

Pictorial painting can take up many forms in terms of subject matter, a tranquil landscape in a rural setting, an animated cultural ceremony, a portrait or even the charming still-life of a flower arrangement.

But imagine a painting filled with realistically rendered genitalia, strewn all over the canvas, female and male, gaping and jutting respectively, all framed in the glistening ambience of a pulsating orgy. This is what you expect to see in the easier seen than described works such as Forbidden Fruit by British painter Ruth Bircham.

In fact, it is during moments like this that one hopes to seek refuge in such words like those attributed to the German painter Gerhard Richter:  “To talk about paintings is not only difficult but perhaps pointless too. You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing -- what language can communicate. Painting has nothing to do with that.”

The Kiss (acrylic on canvas) by Ruth Bircham
Bircham’s most uninhibited work, which falls into a genre called ‘erotic art’, cannot be printed along with this article because in the eyes of many it will be perceived as pornography. But calling her work pornography is an accusation she strongly refutes and proficiently defends with deeply meditated ideas.

Moreover, she has already embarked on a campaign to spread her erotic gospel outside the UK having successfully exhibited at Terra Kulture gallery on Victoria Island, in Nigeria in 2009 alongside two Nigerian artists as well as Brussels, Belgium in September last year. At both venues she says she received stimulating press interviews and the shocked, but enthusiastic audiences loved her art filling the galleries in streams every day.

“My art is intended for the masses globally, as my intention is to tour to create the awareness of diverse beauty that shows the nude or naked form in its natural beauty as aesthetic,” she explains.

By general community standards of course, sexual acts are perceived to be meant for the private 
domain so their public presence or exhibition may tend to solicit intense debate hinging on what constitutes ‘public morality’. Bircham however insists that when the sexual act or nude form is created via art as representative, it becomes a powerful voice, and has a ‘Will’ of its own that speaks out against what is based on negative or positive morality, and one must ask oneself, whose views are these moralities based on?

“Sex on canvas, in sculpture, photography, drawing and dance is art and should be seen as art, not pornography. When it’s in the gallery it is art. Pornography is when you are situated in the same room with the actual persons having sex in front of you or when something is filmed without editing the footage clips, and is sold, something that depicts on-going action of sex without stopping,” she explains, clarifying that because it is created by an artist, it is art, also it is presented in a gallery for exhibition.

Lust (oil and acrylic on canvas)

by Ruth Bircham
She has received many confrontational views from the public, in which she asks, “what is the real” and “what is the extreme?” Is not the extreme what is deemed how the female body should be portrayed. She argues that what is reflected in art is how the uses of the nude, naked or sexual body as a means of expression plays an important part in addressing issues that women in the contemporary world face.

“This type of artwork stands in opposition to recognised social representations of women in the media such as magazines, television, books, newspapers and other media products, like advertisements,” she says.

She emphasises that her art is for adults only, and at every exhibition, she has warning signs against anyone below the age of 21, and in galleries her provocative works usually get a private room to themselves.

She divides her adult themed art into two categories, “sensual erotic” and “explicit erotic”, one being more watered-down than the other, the former probably being the type published with this article.

“Sensual erotic is artworks which are naturally suggestive and just nude. It is indicative or evocative, making someone thinks of sexual matters. It is titillating, provocative, and stimulates further thoughts that convey a hint or suggestion, a promise of a great time,” she elaborates “Explicit erotic is artworks which pulls the viewer into the image to question its existence, style, methods its beauty from a diverse form. It is enticing, inviting the viewer’s attention. What makes it explicit is when the body sections are framed specifically”.

Recently, Bircham has been applying her remarkable skill for realistically depicting female genitalia to the fight against female circumcision otherwise known as Female Genital Cutting (FGC). She intends to host an exhibition that will have a segment with paintings whose proceeds are marked for donation to the Orchid Project an organisation that advocates against FGC, a culture that is practiced among a good number of societies across the world although Indonesia, Africa and the Middle East have been reported as having the most prevalent cases.  

Three Graceful Bathers by Ruth Bircham
According to the Orchid Project, the UN estimates that worldwide, 125 million women and girls are currently living with the consequences of FGC and a further 30 million girls are at risk of being cut in the next decade across 29 known countries.

“The age at which a girl is cut depends on a specific cultural context. In some communities a girl may be just nine days old. In others, it may be later as a teenager. In half of the countries that practice FGC, the majority of girls are cut before age five,” reports the Orchid Project. According to the organisation, men and women often support FGC without question because it is a traditional practice that has existed in a community for generations. Many communities believe that a girl needs to be cut in order to marry well.

Bircham is riled by such cultural practices and describes them as false ideals that need to be questioned.

“FGC is an act to make women submissive, isolated, invisible and subjective to being. I’m objective and will continue to be objective against all things that demonstrate that the female should be thus,” argues the painter.

But returning to her work, one must not be fooled by her explicit content and be quick to judge her. As earlier alluded, her paintings are rooted in thought out concepts and theory, and its purpose is to challenge perceptions. She believes, everyone is naked and therefore uses the naked form to “invite and enrich people to really look at what they are really looking at within themselves; it’s almost like a mirror reflection.”

“The main issue is found in what statements I am implying, incorporating and encouraging in my artworks when I a female turn a situation into a subjective or objective experience, and the diverse meaning and concepts that lay behind them,” she says.

Perhaps it is true that the audience’s perceptions may not always meet the terms of an artist’s expression, particularly when it comes to the portrayal of nudity although this entirely depends on the community or the space at which the art is being displayed. East Africa is fairly tolerant in this regard with Uganda hosting the annual Nude exhibition since 2000. Kenya too had a major exhibition with Nude Naked Nature held at the Italian Cultural Centre in Nairobi last year that featured 20 artists from five countries which included Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Kenya.It featured drawings, paintings, sculpture, installation and photography and was announced as “a contemplation of the human body in contemporary Pan-African art practice.”
Closer to home, in 2001, Nsofwa Bowa, subsequently well-known but then a young Zambian sculptor eager to launch his career, made a series of concrete statues of females which he installed around the lawns of a roundabout in Ndola, with city council approval. Nude from the waist up, the figures caused a controversy which resulted in a demand by women’s lobby groups for their demolition on the alleged reason of their vulgarity. Nsofwa made an attempt to “dress” the statues by making alterations but still, they were destroyed at night by unknown people barely a week after they were erected.

Nevertheless, returning to Bircham, although the erotic assumes a substantial component of her art production, her themes are broad, ranging from conventional portraits, surrealist landscapes as well as wildlife and nature.

Although the 48 year old is of Caribbean heritage having been raised in both Jamaica and England, and has only visited the continent once, her work appears to have an inherently African visual impression to it. Evident in works such as Wash Day that depicts a typical scene of rural women doing their laundry by the river or Cry For Biafra an ode to the brutal Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967-1970 that also speaks to modern times and according to the artist “questions the logics and theories that lays behind the methods used to destroy lives, and why Boko Haram should be allowed to commit serious crimes” in obvious reference to the recent kidnaping of over 200 Nigerian school girls by insurgents.

Bircham holds a Diploma in Art and Design from Camberwell Art College in London as well as a BA (Hon) In Fine Art Combined Media at Croydon College although she insists that she is a self-taught artist.

Monday, 12 May 2014

He’s gone but Lutanda shines on

By Andrew Mulenga

Just as the dark cloud that cloaked the contemporary Zambian art scene with the death of Baba Jakeh Chande in Helsinki, Finland barely a couple of months ago was fading, fatality has once again struck and claimed yet another of the field’s brightest stars in Lutanda Mwamba.

Lutanda Mwamba - 1966 - 2014
© Zambia Visual Arts Council (VAC)
The Kasama-born artist died at the age of 48 last Sunday morning, on May 4 at the Care for Business (Cfb) Medical Centre in Lusaka after succumbing to malaria and meningitis in what has proven to be a mystifying double tragedy as he passed away only hours after his mother Agnes Samforonsa Musauni, and their bodies were laid to rest at Memorial Park in Lusaka on Wednesday.

A reserved character by nature, often shying away from press interviews despite his celebrity status within the visual arts and among Lusaka’s Rastafarian community, as an artist, Mwamba enjoyed a remarkably serene but successful life.

This shy character – obviously overshadowed by more confident personal traits – was among a few things reflected upon by one of his childhood mentors Ruth Hartley (formerly Ruth Bush) who taught him at the International School of Lusaka (ISL) in the early 1980s and later employed him at the Mpapa Gallery. Through a personal tribute to the artist, made available by the Lechwe Trust, Hartley shares an intimate eulogy in which she describes the news of his death as deeply tragic and a great loss to Zambia and to Zambian art.

Chuma Grocery, 1993 (serigraph),

22 x 36, by Lutanda Mwamba, Lechwe Trust
“He was a quiet and shy boy of about 14 or 15 years old who appeared rather isolated among the other students. ISL students came from relatively wealthy backgrounds and many were from expatriate families. Lutanda's devoted and hard-working mother, a single parent, lived in Chilenje but she was determined that her son should have the best education she could afford,” she recalls of her days as his school teacher. Unlike the other children Mwamba had a very long walks to school each day. 

She explains that with a fellow teacher, from time to time one of them would give him a lift back to his home although he never wanted to be taken all the way. In Chilenje he always had one very good friend, another artist, David Chirwa – with whom he would establish Rockston Studios as grownups in the not too distant future – nevertheless, Hartley would later provide Lutanda with a bicycle to ease his school journeys. 

“I noticed Lutanda at once as he showed a natural talent for drawing in my class. When I asked him about his future plans he told me that he hoped to be an electrical engineer. I suggested to him that art was a good way to make a living” recollects Hartley, herself a painter who exhibited extensively in Zambia between 1976 and the late 1980s, a few of her works such as the 1979 painting "Chikumbi Bombings" that depicts how innocent women and children died in a raid by Ian Smith's forces during Zambia’s conflict with Rhodesia can still be seen at the Lusaka National Museum.

Mushroom Pickers, 2003, (Collagraph)

by Lutanda Mwamba
Nevertheless, Hartley was obliged to give up teaching and did not see Lutanda again for some years. A few years later she was working at the Mpapa Gallery that was co-founded by Joan Pilcher and Heather Montgomerie in the Pilcher Graphics building along Cha Cha Cha Road in Lusaka, and while driving, passed Lutanda and Chirwa, she recognised him at once although he was now very tall and had dreadlocks. 

“He saw me also and came around to my home that same day. He told me that he had got his GCSE exams but had not been able to get any work at all. He had left home and was finding it hard to afford food. He still wanted to become an electrical engineer,” she recollects.
She would later try to get him work that she thought was more appropriate for his qualifications and abilities but any job proved hard to find. 

“Finally after consulting with my partners at Mpapa Gallery, Cynthia Zukas, Joan Pilcher and Patrick Mweemba, we decided to offer Lutanda a trial period as a gallery assistant. Also at this time Lutanda married his wife Mary, and they had their first child,” explains Hartley who left Zambia in 1994 and lost contact with many of her friends and artists only returning in 2012, through Cynthia Zukas and was able to meet Mwamba with his wife Mary, and children.

Drinkers, acrylic on canvas by Lutanda Mwamba

© The Post Newspapers Limited Collection, 
Lusaka, Zambia
“Lutanda was such an intelligent, hard-working, and able assistant that he very soon became indispensable to the gallery. There is no doubt in my mind that he played a very important part in the success of Mpapa Gallery and therefore in the success of Zambian art at the time. What thrilled me was that in the context of the gallery, and through his contact with artists like Patrick Mweemba, Henry Tayali, Style Kunda, he began to experiment with art himself and very quickly became one of the best printmakers we had”, says Hartley who served as Mpapa art Gallery Director for a decade and during your term in office you organised several solo and group exhibitions as well as workshops. Yo also co-ordinated the British Council/Vincent Waropy sculpture workshops in 1990 and 1991 as well as the first Mbile International Artists workshop.

In any case, besides the cherished memories Hartley warmly shares there is no doubt over Lutanda’s contribution towards the development of the arts in Zambia.

After he founded the Rockston Studio along with Chirwa in 1985 – which developed into an informal art school -- his skills and ideas would greatly influence the course of the next 15 years from the late 1980’s through to the early 2000s until the studio packed in. He would become not only the coach but guru of some of the country’s most illustrious artists of their generation that included earlier mentioned Baba Jakeh, Martin Chanda, Nezias Nyirenda, David Lewanika, Teddy Zebbie Muhango, Ngamanya Banda, Bar’uchi Mulenga, Kate Naluyele as well as two of his closest friends Vincentio Phiri and Zenzele Chulu.

Portrait, 2003 (acrylic on canvas) 60 x 90 cm

by Lutanda Mwamba, Lechwe Trust

(Donated by Betty Wilkinson)
In fact Chanda who studied at Ecole Cantonale d’Art du Valais, Sierre, Switzerland  where he is currently based says: “Lutanda (star) just like his name was indeed a super star, a great pillar of the house of art, he taught just about everyone that came in contact with him, thus leaving an inerasable mark of great artistic wisdom. I will never forget the times he introduced me to the skill of "drawing from the right side of the brain" a method that helped me a lot in understanding any object before the eyes! I will greatly miss his presence, but I will keep the moments I shared with him alive in my memory forever”.

It is this spirit of sharing skills and knowledge that would earn him the nickname “preacher”, because he was regarded as a preacher of art.

What's more, it is Mwamba who while visiting Kasama in 1999 discovered Stary Mwaba, brought him to Lusaka, kept him under his own mentorship and gave him a shot at the Lusaka art scene, which he affectionately remembers from Germany where he is attending a one-year residency at Kunstlerhaus Bethanien.

“I have lost a brother and friend, there is absolutely no artist who has been as influential as Lutanda as far as the current art practice is concerned, a very humble soul he taught and inspired many of us, I for one remain forever indebted to him for having believed in me from the very start,” says Mwaba.

Home, Linocut, 2012, by Lutanda Mwamba
Mwaba who recently held a ground-breaking exhibition at the Lusaka Museum that attracted internationally acclaimed Nigerian curator Bisi Silva before he left for Germany explains that through his late mentor he bulldozed his way into his first show at Namwandwe Gallery in New Kasama.

“Without an invitation he took my work there regardless. Even for the first International Mbile Workshop I attended he just picked me and took me, it was really embarrassing to just show up like that without an invitation but that is all part of my story. I am not the only person he mentored and supported by establishing Rockston Studio, he directly and indirectly influenced many like Anawana  Haloba the first Zambian artist to showcase at the Venice Biennial, Lutanda has contributed greatly to the current art practice in Zambia, more than any artist living he was a true visionary.”

He says that for the last one year he and the late Mwamba shared a studio space generously provided by Amish Patel at 6 Reedbuck in Kabulonga, Lusaka. 

Portrait, acrylic on canvas, by Lutanda Mwamba,

© The Post Newspapers Limited Collection, 
Lusaka, Zambia
“He told me lately he didn't feel like painting and wanted to do prints, he was really excited about it and had been preparing material for the last 2 years, and he later travelled to Choma for the same and like always Bert Witkamp – who organised a show -- welcomed him”
It is in Choma where he exhibited for the very last time in an exhibition entitled Graphic Art of Zambia that celebrated ligthographic, serigraphic, woodcut and etching printmaking processes, almost forgotten art form not only in Zambia but the world over. 

The show was also a historic anthology of the genre and its artists from the 1960s until today featuring Cynthia Zukas MBE and the Lusaka Artists Group – as of 1977 Zambia Association of Artists – collective of Bert Witkamp, Fackson Kulya, Patrick Mweemba, and David Chibwe alongside Lutanda Mwamba, William Miko, Agnes Buya Yombwe, Jonathan Leya, Patrick Mumba and Adam Mwansa. And William Miko, fine art lecturer at the Zambia Open University (ZAOU) who is also Lechwe Trust vice-chairman describes Mwamba’s death as the loss of an asset.

“My thoughts on Lutanda Mwamba's passing on are very sad: It is a very solemn occasion to the visual arts scene in Zambia and the world at large. Lutanda was a guru on the art scene, a versatile artist who could do anything in art,” says Miko “he could do drawings, paintings, sculptures, printmaking, make music, graphic design and animation, etc. The man was an asset to Zambia. We have lost an aesthetic imagery creator and a philosopher of our time.”

Although Mwamba, studied print making at Evelyn Hone College in Lusaka and Reading University in the United Kingdom – in 1989 he was the only artist from Africa to be awarded a prestigious Commonwealth Foundation Fellowship -- and also went on to teach print making at Edna Manley School of Art, Kingston, Jamaica, he tutored most of the Rockston flock in the principles of art and stone sculpture, although his passion remained in printmaking
In which ever material his themes were mainly social but because of his amoebic nature there was no pinpointing him in terms of style as he was always investigating new methods, media and genres expressing them in his own visual vocabulary, however, throughout his career colour remained important. He applied this to an astounding mastery of technique and control of materials.

In reality, because he was versatile by nature he was such a hard act to follow more often you will have to read his signature to know it is his work. For instance there was a period that he would just paint coloured lines on canvas shortly after he recovered from gunshot wounds.

He was shot in the slums of Johannesburg, South Africa in 2000 during a social outing while attending an artist’s residency at The Bag Factory where he exhibited alongside Gabi Ngcobo of Kwazulu Natal and Hanne Tymi from Norway in a show entitled “Departures”.

According to close friends, one bullet was never removed and he carried it within him for the rest of his natural life.

Under the patronage of the Bank of Zambia and the likes of Andrew Sardanis at Chaminuka, Roger and Gwenda Chongwe, John Kopotwe at the Namwandwe Gallery, the Cynthia Zukas and the Lechwe Trust as well as Enzio Rossi who provided Rockston Studio with working space in the early days, Mwamba received commissions of great scope therefore the biggest Zambian collections are studded with mementos of his work. A good number of his paintings and prints can be seen in The Post Newspaper Collection at 36 Bwinjimfumu Road in Lusaka. Mwamba is survived by a wife and four children.