Laone Thekiso is a dreamer with a vision. Inspired by government efforts to try and get the youth out of the streets, Serowe-born Thekiso has taken a completely different route from one that some of his peers follow.
He is not one to complain and bash the government about its failure to provide. Instead this enterprising dreamer has decided to meet the government half way. He has never received a grant or financial assistance from government and everything that he needs for his work he buys with his own resources. Thekiso is a visual artist who specialises in wall paintings and decorations, or murals as some call it. Inspired and influenced by the works of established artists such as Wilson Ngoni who has proven that one can earn a comfortable living from pursuing the arts, Thekiso is also optimistic about his chances to make his mark in the visual arts scene.
He is also open about how he got to where he is today. His love for the arts began during his Junior and Senior Secondary school days where he pursued art. He recently decided to take his passion to the next level, and can now proudly tell potential clients that his works can be seen at a couple of accommodation establishments, schools, homes and for those who wish to see some of his previous works, one can pass through Play Junction in Phase 4. He specialises in creating an array of artworks such as Winnie the Pooh for the little ones, different wildlife species as well as almost everything that a client desires. His latest project is something that he hopes would inspire the little angels of SOS Children’s home. Throughout this week, he is working on a project that he hopes will give them something to smile about.
“I had many influences in my work. I credit the likes of Thabo Dimeko, who has shown me that true passion always wins. He is the type of person who can call the youth, and inspire them, hence I am also doing a similar thing,” he says. As a young entrepreneur he is prone to challenges such as mismanagement of funds and lack of resources. Another challenge that he comes across daily, is the fact that clients are sometimes reluctant to pay and want to pay less. “Some people don’t know a lot about art,” he explains. Thekiso, a member of Thapong Visual Arts Centre also points out that his age sometimes poses a problem to clients who have little faith in his capabilities and often want to dismiss him as a chancer.
“They look down on you, and think that you can’t do anything,” he says highlighting that he wants to change this mentality. As for his prices, they range from P1500-upwards for a kids room, but he takes into consideration factors that include space, quality as well as what a client wants. His wildlife artworks range from P1500 upwards. As for his future, he hopes to inspire others to also do something with their lives using their hands and their talents. He also dreams about opening a school/centre that will offer the youth life skills, and enrol even kids with learning disabilities.