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Other Articles from The Villager

Chleophara, the story of a single African Mother


by Demilzar Gumbo


 

Art is an imaginative awareness of experience articulated through drawings and paintings but Judah Siska’s (21) art work is inspired by African women.
This second year psychology and music student at the University of Namibia is an artist in his own right, who creates paintings, writes poetry and music lyrics.
Judah grew up with a single parent since his father had been sentenced to prison for seven years when he was 12. His mother is the only one who financially supported him and his siblings when friends and family had turned their backs on them.
“I grew up seeing my mother suffering and working very hard to make ends meet.
My mother was so courageous during those tough times and she raised the seven of us without complaining. She and God were my sources of inspiration while I was painting Chleophara,” he says.
His painting, Chleophara, was created using charcoal, which turns into dark grey ash and using oil pastel, which consists of a pigment mixed with a non-drying oil and wax binder on a white A2 paper. He used bright and dark water colours to show the mixture of pain, disappointment and love the children and women go through when they have been abandoned especially by fathers, partners and husbands.
“It took me approximately one month to complete my work,” he adds.
 The painting that is complimented by a poem portrays the love that single African mothers have for their children. Moreover, it also sends a message to fatherless children that they still have God‘s love since He is the one who designed and shaped them in their mothers’ wombs.
The fatherless are searching for meaning, yearning for someone,
A father to show them life
As they stumble and bruise their knees in the dark
As they cry and feel hopeless, someone counts every tear that runs down their cheeks
He stands right in front of them waiting,
With wide open arms saying,
“My child, my child come, I have given it all for YOU! (a part of the Chleophara poem)
He stated that children who grow up without father figures in their lives can become bitter and angry with the society to an extent that they tend to attack whomever they feel is laughing at them and their single mothers. This is why he values the necessity of motherly love and protection.
“While other people might look down upon women and try to portray them in a bad light, I was inspired by the chapters from the Bible that talks  about women’s strength and determination; I incorporate them in my paintings,” he points out.  
Strangely enough, when he started drawing, he admits not having been a good painter, however, he had a female teacher who did not give up on him and kept on encouraging him.
This is the first time his work is being exhibited and his family has been very supportive throughout. He wants to succeed in his art career and plans on starting up his own band called ‘spontaneous love magnet’ so that he can spread out the love.