For someone who has been living in Namibia only since 2010, Tity Tshilumba has managed to capture aspects of the Namibian culture and life quite impressively.
In his current exhibition titled ‘La Passion de Vivre’ translated, ‘The Joy of Living’ showing at Restaurant La Bonne Table at Franco-Namibia Cultural Centre (FNCC) until 4 March, Tshilumba showcases his ability to quickly study and capture a new environment.
A Himba boy is the focus of the ‘Future Warrior’ painting where he looks on in solemn masculinity and clad in two plaits to show he is single.
Another painting of a Ovahimba girl titled ‘Beauty’ shows her in a typical selfie pose. This one may be a little less culturally accurate; the girl stands, resting her hands on the otjize-smeared thick locks on her head while Tity shows her exposing - ironically - her right breast. It would have seemed like something straight off the cover of Playboy Magazine if it was not for the fact that she is Himba, rather than a girl you would find in OK Parking, selling photos and cultural paraphernalia.
Another, titled ‘My Lok kasie’, which should rather be ‘My Lokasie’, depicts women under umbrellas selling fat cakes at the corner of a typical Katutura street. The road is gravel and dusty with stones scattered across it.
Next time you’re having lunch or a morning coffee at Restaurant La Bonne Table, be sure to give this collection of paintings some of your time and simply marinate in the depth of Namibian beauty.