Nature has endowed some people with great talents and Andrew Majoni, a 26-year-old security guard in Salima, is one of such people.
If you ask him to draw your portrait, Majoni will look at you twice or thrice and come up with a wonderful artistic work.
â€œI do not struggle to come up with peopleâ€™s faces. When I draw your face, you will see that you look exactly as the portrait. Drawing is part of me and I thank God for it,â€ he said.
His fatherâ€˜ died while he was in Form Two.
â€œMy father died in an accident involving the truck he was driving and this threw our family into desperation.
â€œLife became so unbearable and we could no longer afford basic things. I was forced to drop out of school to fend for myself and my siblings,â€ he said.
At that time, Majoni was in Form Two at Mkwelo Community Day Secondary School in Salima.
Majoni traces his talent to his primary school days.
â€œWhen I was in Standard Two, I fellow in love with drawings. I used to draw on the sand and in my exercise books and both my teachers and fellow pupils were impressed with my drawings and they encouraged me to keep it up,â€ he said.
Little did Majoni know that the talent would help him earn a living.
â€œIn fact, when I dropped out of school I ventured into commercial drawing. I would draw peopleâ€™s faces and they would give me money,â€ he said.
Majoni remembers vividly when former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika visited Malawi Defence Force College in Salima.
â€œIt was the first time to come face-to-face with the head of State. I even shook hands with Mutharika and I had an opportunity to look at him closely. When I went back home, I drew Mutharikaâ€™s portrait and made a lot of money from it because it was just amazing,â€ said Majoni.
He said the portrait was one of his great works.
How talent transformed his life
Actually, it was money realised after selling Mutharika and other peopleâ€™s portraits that gave him a start-up capital to venture into fish business.
â€œI remember one day I sold up to K5 000 and I managed to raise some money to venture into fish business,â€ he said.
He, however, said at the moment he is not actively involved in drawing as he is employed by one of the security firms in Salima.
â€œI barely have time to concentrate on drawing as l am working as a security guard. Of course, I have not abandoned the art as I sometimes draw one or two portraits for sale, but what I am saying is that I am not as active as I used to be,â€ he said.
Looking to the future
Majoni wished he had an opportunity to go to an art school to sharpen his skills.
â€œI have never been to an art school. I developed my skill through peopleâ€™s encouragements.
â€œIf I had gone to school I would do computer-aided artistic works and make more money as they look good and professional,â€ he said.
He said it only takes him about one hour to draw a personâ€™s face. He has so far also drawn portraits of former presidents Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda and Bakili Muluzi.
Majoni also makes illustrations of some biblical characters and scenes.
â€œApart from drawing, I am also into painting. I have painted some health institutions such as Salima District Hospital,â€ he said.