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Haswel Kunyenje up for public scrutiny

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By Richard Chirombo:

HOSTING FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION—Kunyenje

For over 20 years, Haswel Kunyenje has been entertaining people through cartoons.

By the nature of his work, he confined himself to tiny spaces, away from the prying eyes of people. At least until last week!

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The artist surprised the art world when he announced that, from Thursday, he would be holding an exhibition through visual artworks.

This means Kunyenje, whose mission has been to transmit knowledge through cartoons and illustrations, has taken upon himself more responsibility by, for example, becoming accountable to the public.

Thursday, between 6pm and 8pm, the Blantyre Cartoon Club co-director was at Jacaranda Cultural Centre (JCC) in Blantyre in his capacity as creator of works, and not interpreter of life’s lessons.

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Kunyenje said Thursday that JCC has given him a chance to highlight stories of people that are shaping citizens’ opinion in Malawi.

“I want to show the world some of the people that have shaped public opinion in Malawi,” he said.

On its part, JCC says in its newsletter that it is thrilled to host Kunyenje.

“JCC is pleased to host a debut collection by Haswel Kunyenje… May 2019 is a historical month, National Presidential Elections take place on the 21st of this month. It is relevant to showcase persons who have and are shaping Malawi’s narrative.

“This exhibition is a fundraiser for the artist who also works with children’s schools. The exhibition is open and free till the end of the month,” JCC says in its newsletter.

One only hopes that, during the exhibition, Kunyenje will be ready to swim in the river of positive and negative comments.

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