By Malawi News Agency

A 28 years old pencil sketch artist Esmeralda Julio Zwaki, has bemoaned lack of support for arts from the public saying she is contemplating on quitting the stage.

“Whenever I am hired for clients work, it often doesn’t end well. They either don’t pay me or stop responding to my calls,” the artist added and confessed that the reality is quite different from her expectations.

Zwaki started sketching when she was young and drawing was her passion.

“ Growing up, writing was my only friend. I had no friends but drawing was my passion,” Zwaki told Malawi News Agency on Monday.

The Chigumula based artist who completed her secondary education said no one inspired her but just developed a passion on drawing with her lead pencil.

“No one inspired me; I just developed passion for drawing,” said Zwaki who started drawing at 11.

Despite her talent, Zwaki struggles to get support from people in a society where she expected women to receive more encouragement and attention.

In 2022 Zwaki expected to participate in an exhibition at Chigumula in Blantyre but failed to do so due to lack of financial support.
With a string of frustration, the artist said was considering quitting to look for other things to do.

“I am passionate about pencil sketch drawing but I feel let down in most times. This led to me to do few sketches,” she added.

Currently she does sketches that depicts issues to do with gender based violence citing rape and bullying.

Gilbert Mpakule, President of the Visual Arts Association of Malawi, urged artists not to be discouraged.

“No matter what happens, when you have a passion for art, things will work out over time,” he added.

Mpakule said artists need support to progress with the skill and urged people to pay even ever they hire an artist.

“When an artist is hired, it is important to pay for the work because this encourages the artist to work hard. Some might not like the art but some might look at it and appreciate.” he added.

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