Reaching for an artistic dream

Kabelo Adamson
ARTIST Thapelo Dipatane

Man makes a living through cartoon murals

A bad performance in BGCSE exams did not deter a determined young man of Mahalapye from reaching for his dreams.

Insisted of wallowing in self-pity, Thapelo Dipatane decided to use his God given talent to eek out a living.

His work has however since become a hit with pre-schools where he freely expresses himself through impressive cartoon murals on walls.

Reaching for an artistic dream
EXPRESSING HIS ART: Thapelo Dipatane

“Art has always been a part of me. When I started I was with Thapong Visual Arts Centre in 2006, but I have since branched out on my own,” Dipatane has explained.

His big break at Thapong Visual Arts Centre, which has served as a springboard to his successful career presented itself soon after high school.

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And now he is grateful that finally he is able to pay the bills through his talent.

His first major art project was at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone in 2010 and since then he has been busy with art.

“I have always felt art is what I want to do my whole life and it’s the path that I have always wanted to take from the beginning,” he says, adding that unfortunately the local curriculum does not allow for the recognition of talents from learners at the early stages of education for purposes of nurturing.

“When you are at a primary school, you will be asked as a learner what you want to become, and many will say a teacher, nurse, doctor and so forth but it is not everyone who wants a career in those main stream professions,” he said as he highlighted the need to tweak the curriculum and make it inclusive.

The 36-year- old artist is of the view that technical education should be promoted and encouraged in schools, all the way from lower schools.

Reaching for an artistic dream
EXPRESSING HIS ART: Thapelo Dipatane

He says if artisan subjects could be introduced at primary school level, many children would grown up to become successful individuals even if they do not excel in academics.

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While many in his profession prefer producing artworks for sale, Dipatane has chosen a different path by specializing in painting cartoon murals on the walls of nursery schools.

“I chose that career path because there is a lot of pre-schools coming up and right now I can confidently tell you that I have a captive market, although like in any other business there are some challenges,” he said

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