New Beginnings: From carguard to artist - Erick Karangwa's tale of inspiration

Photograph: Courtesy Erick Karangwa

Erick David Karangwa was born in Rwanda and fled from his home in 1994 when war broke out. He travelled to Tanzania and from there to Zimbabwe.

While in Zimbabwe he learned to create artworks from a man he befriended. In 2004 he decided to leave Zimbabwe for South Africa.

Erick started working as a car guard in a shopping centre at Constantia.

It was there he saw the work of Andrew Cooper, one of the Cape Town based artist who's art was on display at a gallery in the shopping mall. He became inspired by Cooper's work. he says it had a big influence on his own art.

It became one of my dreams to meet Andrew Cooper and finally the dream came true.

Erick David Karangwa

Since I saw his work I moved from sketching to painting

Erick David Karangwa

Karangwa says after three years, he started seeing some improvements in his work. He took some of his paintings to the gallery and asked the owner's opinion and advice on how to improve.

The first advice I got from the owner really pushed me to work hard on my paintings

Erick David Karangwa

A few years later, Karangwa took some of his paintings to the centre management. They helped him organise an exhibition, and to his delight, he sold all three of his paintings within three days.

He was interviewed by the Constantiaberg newspaper, where he mentioned that he was inspired by the work of Andrew Cooper. Cooper happened to read the article, and curious, went to meet this aspiring artist in person.

Since that first meeting, the two men have struck up a friendship and Cooper has been mentoring Karangwa since 2014, spending weekly sessions with him at the Red Gallery in Tokai, helping him develop his artistic technique.

Contact Erick on his Facebook page: Erick Fine Arts

Listen to the inspiring story of Erick Karangwa and Andrew Cooper below:

Read More
CT mosque launches app to keep congregation and community connected

CT mosque launches app to keep congregation and community connected

The Gatesville Mosque is harnessing the power of modern technology to help mark the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Telkom confirms glitches with internet services

Telkom confirms glitches with internet services

Tech journalist Jan Vermeulen explains that most Telkom customers have complained about an intermittent connection.

Saartjie Baartman Centre kick-starts campaign to help protect women and children

Saartjie Baartman Centre kick-starts campaign to help protect women and children

The Centre launched the "Change Her Story" to raise awareness and funds for legal and counselling support for survivors of abuse.

How Jazzart and artistic director Sifiso Kweyama are keeping dance alive

How Jazzart and artistic director Sifiso Kweyama are keeping dance alive

Jazzart Dance Company director Sifiso Kweyama has spent 27 years in the arts and reflects on challenges facing dance companies.

Van Breda's injuries match patterns of self-inflicted injury, court told

Van Breda's injuries match patterns of self-inflicted injury, court told

Another expert reiterates claims that his injuries were self-inflicted, while the defence tries to have his statement thrown out.

Project aims to get to the bottom of mental health issues facing uni students

Project aims to get to the bottom of mental health issues facing uni students

A study is investigating how prevalent common mental disorders are among undergraduate university students across the globe.

Popular articles
Cape Town's flexi work hours an 'absolute hit'

Cape Town's flexi work hours an 'absolute hit'

Tax advisory company Grant Thornton has extended remote working and flexible staff hours since the City's announcement.

Read Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder's open letter to Solidarity's Dirk Hermann

Read Spur CEO Pierre van Tonder's open letter to Solidarity's Dirk Hermann

"Dear Dirk, I refer to your open letter published on Maroela Media on 23 May in which you make some contentious statements..."

Trade union Solidarity sets the record straight on Spur 'boycott'

Trade union Solidarity sets the record straight on Spur 'boycott'

Spur boss puzzled by union support of the boycott, but Solidarity's Dirk Hermann clarifies letter was in his personal capacity.

Grade 6 pupil falls to his death at Edgemead Primary

Grade 6 pupil falls to his death at Edgemead Primary

MEC for Education at Western Cape says an investigation will be launched into the school tragedy.

Another damning State Capture report, this time by academics

Another damning State Capture report, this time by academics

Stephen Grootes says this report looks into how state capture came about going back to 2009 with the arrival of the Guptas.

Buy Bitcoin, get rich? Here’s whether you’re missing out on a goldmine…

Buy Bitcoin, get rich? Here’s whether you’re missing out on a goldmine…

The Money Show Bruce Whitfield interviews famed tech commentator Simon Dingle.