Posted by Ifedayo Oshin on Sunday, July 6, 2014

In this edition, we continue with the profiling and celebrating of the elite group of proudly Nigerians who are making the difference in South Africa using their education and natural talents positively towards self-fulfillment and betterment of their host society. Mr. Vincent Osemwegie has earned a place of pride in the group through his struggles and his efforts since he arrived South Africa in 2009. The Nigerian Voice newspaper had a chat with the Nigerian super blur artist at the solo exhibitions of some of his new work of arts at the Living Artists Emporium, Johannesburg on 29th May 2014.

Vincent Osemwegie is a super blur artist from Edo State in Nigeria, but presently based in South Africa, he was born an artiste and has always been an artiste “My mother used to tell me how I used to scribble on the floor when I was a kid while other kids were playing”. 

Vincent studied Arts at the University of Benin and came to South Africa in 2009. Since then, he had been trying to start his career in arts but things didn’t go well until last year, 2013. It was more like his fate was changing; he had a better relationship with God and things started to turn around. He was then introduced to a South African artiste at the Living Artists Emporium who then introduced him to super blur art movement. So, in his bid to understand and create paintings that will suit the super blur movement manifesto, he realized that his art was transforming from very realistic to very expressive.  This is what he really wanted inside of him because he really wanted to express himself “The best thing I want to do is to be very free in whatever I do. So, this style gives me a better way to express my emotions and it is fast and quick.  The technique is such that I can’t do one painting within a long time.  I have to paint and as I start I must finish. So, I am glad and I give thanks to God for the way things turned out. A lot of people are appreciating my works, because they are beginning to see me as a contemporary artist.  And when I communicate to galleries, they show interest. So, that is very encouraging”

One thing stood out from his work or art, it was the fact that all the painting where of women. According to him Kitty Phetla; a South African-born ballerina is the first woman to do the dying swan. The dying swan is a very top-class ballet performance. So, she was the first black woman to take on the lead role. He said he saw her on TV being interviewed and he was inspired by her personality, which is what he believe drove her to achieve what she has achieved and the level she is today. This sort of inspired him because at that moment of his life was when he was trying to see that things really happen for him. So, he decided to appreciate the things he saw in her on his canvass, he started painting ballerinas, so, every ballerina he paint is inspired by that woman he narrated.

Every individual has challenges, and our challenges can only make us stronger and better, Mr. Vincent is without some and he was quick to point out that South Africa is a country but it is not as friendly as his country Nigeria because the people in South Africa are not very welcoming, especially the Taxi drivers that is why at his first exhibition he chose to celebrate the happier parts of Johannesburg, of South Africa; which is the free lifestyle they have here. His second challenge was in the Arts industry the challenge he had was the fact that he could not present himself as an artiste to the galleries; to those who would market his arts because of his style. But, he thinks he had overcome that challenge now “It is not really a big challenge now. They just need to see my work and understand what I am doing now for them to really take me on”.

The blur Artiste made it clear that if he had to ask for something from the Nigerian community in South Africa it will be that the Nigerian community should begin to appreciate art for what art is really, and support art. He said the last time he spoke with one of the staff at the Nigerian consulate; he told him that they are planning to appreciate the Nigerian artistes in South Africa; that really encouraged him. So, if that happens a lot of talented Nigerians who are in South Africa will come out and do their best. That is what he believes life is about because if somebody encourages one, then one will want to do his/her best.

Vincent’s advice to his fellow countrymen intending to come to South Africa is that Nigerians coming to South Africa should know one thing because they think South Africa is like Europe… that thing of them coming and finding a job is not true. If they cannot succeed in Nigeria they cannot here. It is even worse because accommodation is a big problem “I mean there are a lot of people who I know who are struggling with accommodation. In Nigeria, you might not struggle much with accommodation and food, but here in South Africa, you need money to pay for your accommodation. So, if you don’t have somebody to take care of you for a long period of time, I would say make a better plan”.  And his advice for Nigerians that are here “I would advise that they keep a better image of Nigeria by abiding with the law because South Africa is a law-abiding country”.

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