Fulufhelo’s art captures the eye

Date:11 June 2022 - By: Thembi Siaga

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Twenty-one-year-old Fulufhelo Mawela from Divhani village in Nzhelele has an eye – and a steady hand - for fine arts. Through the skilful use of charcoal, graphite and Staedtler pencils, he communicates inspirational ideas and portrays the significant economic setbacks the art and culture industry experienced during to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fulufhelo, affectionately known as Stiger the Artist, is a self-taught artist. He utilises his artwork as a way of preserving different experiences.

“People always tell me not to stop doing art, and that gives me the courage to keep on going. Doing art eases a lot of stress, even when I feel depressed. Art expresses our thoughts and feelings in a way that pictures seldom can. It brings us closer to the ones we no longer have, being more creative and expressive than pictures,” he said.

Fulufhelo started showing an interest in art at the age of eight, during art class at Divhani Primary School in 2009. “I was in Grade 5 when we started doing art, but it was only in 2017 that I started to take it seriously. Since then, I have been improving my skills through YouTube tutorials and practise. I also learn a lot from other artists I meet on the way. The art I sell helps me financially to do other things as well.”

He explained some of the setbacks he comes across as an artist. “Sometimes you get rejected over and over, and it gets you down. That’s what my latest piece of the woman crying is about. I also sometimes face financial challenges to buy the needed materials for my drawings, as they are expensive and hard to find where I live, so I have to buy them online.”

The talented artist specialises in drawings and usually works on commission. He draws any portrait according to his customer’s desire. “I draw exactly what the customers ask me to draw. If I’m not doing commission drawings, I just randomly pick something I can practise on,” he said.

Those who would like to place orders can contact Fulufhelo directly on 076 727 0185. He is also available on Instagram (Stiger the Artist) and Facebook (Stiger the Artist).



Fulufhelo Mawela from Divhani village is a very gifted young sketch artist. Photo: Maluta Khomola.


By: Thembi Siaga

Thembi Siaga worked as an intern during 2021. He assisted with video photography and editing. He also produced numerous small documentaries, focusing on the Vhembe region and its people.






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