Zimbabwe: Mahove defines escapism through fine art

By Alfred Tembo – “Saul, Saul why do you persecute me?…. I am Jesus whom thou persecute  is it hard for thee to kick against the pricks,” God quizzed in the book of Acts.

The encounter with God was for Saul an opportunity to find a way in the new world of the born again and without much knowledge he found happiness and God’s favours hereafter.

The same story matches that of John Mahove, a Gweru based and lesser known fine artist. The reminiscent of Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus, applies to that experience of Mahove who spent a lump some of his pocket money and proceeds from his art works to finance his university education and applications forto look for a job.

In an interview Mahove who started learning the truth about God’s word a year ago said he finds fine art as contagious trade, each time he felt like letting go, an episode affording him a chance to trace pencil marks he would have marked on canvas would avail its self. 

“Art? Art is infectious, way back at University of Zimbabwe, we used to get loans, while others made use of them as they please, I would find investments in art.

“Unwillingly I found myself continuously acquiring stocks, therefore my passion to paint was kept alive and it kept me glued to the isle,” said Mahove.

The radiant painter graduated from University of Zimbabwe in 2006 with a degree Bsc Hon in Metallurgical Engineering.

Upon completing his degree, a year later he moved to Cape Town in South Africa where he gained valuable experience before taking to fulltime art.

The 29 year old artist added, “God communicates with his own in various ways, during my stay in South Africa was when I discovered that in my endeavour to search for employment like others, my art offered the need financial sponsorship for applications and postage concerns.

“At one point I asked myself if l can afford to spend such amounts of money leaving me capable of smoothly sustain myself then it was possible to live off art business. Thus the moment when discovered that God was opening my eyes to help me understand what am worthy” .

Married with two children, a boy and a girl, Mahove a former student at Chaplin High school in Gweru said is a passionate about leading a low profile life style.

“I might find it interesting to have my profile in the newspapers all over on every street corner and so on and unfortunately I am not one of those young people in search of the limelight, in partial isolation I am making it bigger than what it seems on the ground.

“To an extent distancing myself from media fame has helped me continue polishing my art. I prefer to work on a piece at a time, am not a mass production guy,” explained Mahove a fine painter who made himself though cultural portraits that were also displayed at Gerald A Lee Gallery in Norwood Johannesburg.