Controversial artist Rasta is selling his painting of Joseph Shabalala for R150K!
Lebani Sirenje. (PHOTO: GALLO/GETTY IMAGES)
real name Lebani Sirenje, paints he automatically trends on social media.
artistic palate is always in question and he has no intention of changing his
passion to suit people.
He is constantly
accused of not getting it right when he paints but these opinions are not about
to make him lose focus.
Most recently, he
painted the late Black Mambazo’s Joseph Shabalala, who was laid to rest in KwaZulu-Natal
last Saturday. And now he plans to sell it for a hefty price.
“Depending on who
buys it, the painting can even be R150 000 or even more than R150 000,” he tells
For this painting,
Rasta was once again roasted on social media, particularly on Twitter with
users pointing out that the legendary singer had a gap between his teeth, which
is a feature that could not been missed.
“I think I will
just continue doing what I love and not listen to what people say.” People on
social media have said all sorts of things about Rasta but he chooses not to
even pay attention to detractors. “There are those who have said I should draw
myself and others say they will cut off my hands. What is that?” he says.
What matters and
keeps him going is the passion he has for what he does and the love he gets
from people. “After I finish painting, I go to the bereaved family and present
the painting to them. I am guaranteed to get smiles from people who appreciate
They might leave
their loved one at the graveyard, but they take a special painting of them back
home with them,” he adds. According to Rasta, artists embrace him and thank him
for what he is doing for the art industry. “I have got that impact. At the end
they will see what I was pushing all this time,” Rasta says.
He doesn’t sell
images he paints at funerals or memorials however, while in KwaZulu-Natal, he
spoke to Black Mambazo’s manager about the possibility of putting a price on
the special painting which could potentially do well in an auction and help
towards plans to start a solid academy in honour of the fallen hero whose
influence was of international standards.
born artist came to South Africa in 1996 and says since impressing his
classmates with Mzansi jewel Mandela’s painting, he never looked back. “I was
in form one (grade eight) when I drew Mandela. I had seen him a little on TV,
but I did not have a picture of him with me when I drew but when my classmates
saw the painting, they knew who it was and were so impressed by my talent,” he
He doesn’t sell
painting of celebrities he is known for, he says he gets private orders and the
pricing varies. No matter what the naysayers say, Rasta isn’t moved. He is not
done painting-in fact he hopes detractors will soon catch-on.
Here are 10 photos of his memorable works: