Plans for the recently deceased, Oliver Mtukudzi’s memorial are underway – but the focus on South African Twitter is on another man: Rasta.
Lebani Sirenje, who is probably the most famous celebrity painter in the country right now, has taken it upon himself to paint murals and tributes for fallen stars in recent years. While his passion for his craft cannot be doubted, his skills are another matter altogether.
Rasta, who can be found at most high-profile South African funerals, has been frequently criticised for the lack of accuracy in his work.
Depictions of late celebrities such as HHP, Winnie Mandela, ProKid and more have looked nothing like their real-life counterparts. But that has done nothing to dampen his enthusiasm.
In fact, he’s already eyed his next body of work. The infamous artist is said to be interested in painting a tribute to the late Zimbabwean folk singer, Oliver Mtukudzi.
Speaking to TshisaLive Rasta said: “Of course my biggest problem is transport but I will definitely do something for Oliver. Maybe at the memorial service I will be able to complete the drawing and hand over but I definitely have to do this one”
I hope Rasta isn't trying to paint Oliver Mtukudzi right now 😨
— Inalengwe R. (@TshidiRamos) January 25, 2019
Dear rasta please don't paint Oliver Mtukudzi. ..let's respect the dead.
— letsabo bennet (@lletsabobennet) January 24, 2019
— 🇿🇦#PutSouthAfricaFirst🇿🇦 (@MB_Khumalo) January 23, 2019
— 𝚅𝚎𝚗𝚍𝚊'𝚜 𝙿𝚎𝚛𝚏𝚎𝚌𝚝 𝙸𝚍𝚒𝚘𝚝 ✪ (@kyngkhokhas) January 23, 2019
Rasta, to his credit, has not relented. The painter revealed his longtime love for Tuku’s music and confessed to being a longtime fan.
“I’ve been listening to Oliver’s music since my primary days and when times were hard his music kept us going. I always loved that he remained a true African and a true Zimbabwean no matter how famous he got. He sang his Shona songs proudly and made his people proud. That Senzeni song is my all time favourite.”
Should Rasta be allowed to paint Oliver Mtukudzi’s portrait?