A year after making headlines with his sparkling Amakhulu chair, Liwonde-based visual artist Matthews Chikapa is back with a new design, Swetsa love chair.
The chair will be used by lovers, particularly those going into matrimony.
Chikapa said he dedicates his 2013 work to lovers because he wants to make weddings historical with a simple, but magnificent chair.
“It is high time Malawian products made headlines at weddings. We want local products to decorate weddings. However, for this to be possible, it is [artists] who are supposed to be in the forefront by producing such materials,” he said.
According to Chikapa, Swetsa love chair looks similar to a couch and has space for two people.
“It doesn’t add up to have a sofa set at a Ngoni wedding, where everything is traditional. We need chairs that are local. That is why I have produced the Swetsa love chair. Traditional weddings are more interesting to watch since they are historical to the bride and groom and their relatives,” he said.
Chikapa said the chair will be on the market in April.
Meanwhile, the artist has described 2012 as the best year in visual arts sales.
Chikapa said by December, 2012, his popular Amakhulu chair had sold more than 25 sets. Another model called Mama D sold 20 sets locally and over 10 in the UK and US.
“I made my highest sales in 2012 because of the two products. The response I am getting from people who have seen the new product gives me hope that it will also produce good sales,” said Chikapa, who is a retired primary school teacher.
He discouraged local artists against copying foreign designs, saying they should produce simple local designs that reflect Malawi’s image in visual arts.