Namibia: 'Art Should Be Taken Seriously'

KHORIXAS-born Karl Namaseb (23) is a talented artist who has been sketching since he was 11.

"I taught myself to draw. It's a God-given talent," he says.

Karl, who used to work as a bartender and a waiter at Palmwag Rhino Camp, says he sketches for fun and to express himself. He scooped the first prize in the World No-Tobacco Day poster competition at Khorixas in 2015, and won his school stationery as a result.

"After winning I realised I can do more, although competing against my friends was a bit tough. I used to help them and teach them," he says. Karl has also won the countrywide World Rhino Day poster competition, for which he didn't have the right art supplies, he says.

He has to travel to Otjiwarongo or Swakopmund to buy proper supplies, he says. "Travelling to another place is costly. The prize money I win in a competition is not much, as I spend even more making art. Besides, these competitions do not take place frequently, so most of the time I have to use my own money."

Karl dreams about opening an art studio at Khorixas, where he would paint the different sights of Namibia he has come across during his travels. He currently sketches and paints at home, which is too noisy an environment for him, the artist says. "I need my own space to sit in and draw all day," he says.

Karl produces about four to five sketches a month and does dreadlocks for an extra income. This he spends on supplies, he says. A few years ago, Khorixas mayor Elizabeth Geises asked him to sketch first lady Monica Geingos when she visited the town, Karl says.

"I was honoured to sketch my first lady, as such an opportunity is very rare and should not be taken lightly. The sketches of Madam Geingos are my greatest pieces," he says. Karl says Namibians should take art seriously. He says although he can draw anything, he wants to study art.

For more information, contact Karl Tansla Namaseb on Facebook or at [email protected]

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