Tweeps are impressed by celebrity painter Lebani Sirenje, otherwise known as Rasta’s two portraits of the late King Goodwill Zwelithini.
Celebrity painter Lebani Sirenje, otherwise known as Rasta, paid tribute to the late King Goodwill Zwelithini by painting two portraits and presenting one to the royal family.
This comes after the Zwelithini passed away on Friday, 12 March 2021 from COVID-19 complications, at a private hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The king was 72 years-old.
Speaking to TimesLive outside the KwaKhethomthandayo Palace in Nongoma, Rasta said that he started painting on Saturday, 13 March and worked until he finished the two paintings.
“We learnt about King Goodwill Zwelithini when we were still in school so for me, the history is still on with the king. So it’s very significant to me as an African.”
He said he had painted two portraits because he wanted to present one to the royal family and to keep the second one to exhibit and possibly sell at a later stage.
“He allowed me to be brave to come all the way from JHB,” Rasta said. “People were threatening me [on social media] in a way that I was scared to come to KZN, but I managed to say this is what I do, this is what I love and this is how I celebrate the legend who has passed on.”
Rasta’s artwork is usually severely criticized on social media. Over the years, Rasta has received his fair share of negative comments about his work. When he began painting the late Zimbabwean jazz legend Oliver Mtukudzi, Twitter users were not happy, saying that he shouldn’t bother. This time around, it looks like people are impressed:
Rasta has made a name for himself by painting late celebrities and public figures. He has painted Hugh Masekela, HHP, Winnie Mandela, Joe Mafela, Prokid, Beyonce, Jay-Z, President Cyril Ramaphosa and many more.
How much of a rugby fanatic are you? Answer these 5 simple rugby questions and stand the chance of winning R1 000 in cash!