Wesbank

Maru-a-Pula stuns viewers

SHARE   |   Monday, 25 September 2017   |   By Ontametse Sugar
Maru-a-Pula stuns viewers

Local photographer Tlhalefang Charles is having an exhibition at Thapong Centre for Visual Arts titled Maru-A-Pula. Charles has delivered very beautiful features of something that many people see everyday but would have never thought of seeing it put together for an exhibition. He e chose Maru-A-Pula to celebrate the impact of growing up in a village where they used to play under rain showers. From a young age they were fascinated about the direction the clouds are coming from and going, and what they signified. “As a kid rain brought some joy and some little inconveniences. Rain like pula ya medupe I knew brought delicious ‘madombi’ and Tswana chicken, and we used to enjoy all that,” he said. In a poetic mood Charles said he had great love for rain from clouds and chose Maru-A-Pula exhibition because this is the month of September (Lwetse) when clouds are sick. Charles shared how he learned about Dr David Livingstone who brought Christianity to Botswana and convinced Kgosi Sechele who was the rainmaker to divorce his other wives and stop the rainmaking practice to follow Christ. He said even though there are not many rainmakers in Botswana, the clouds always added drama to the pictures he took. “While the landscape was usually flat and featureless, the clouds hanging on our huge skies added that drama to the pictures and I got addicted to those dramatic clouds and that is why I am sharing them,” he said. Professor Thapelo Otlogetswe – the keynote speaker at the event – said it is important to acknowledge that Charles emerges from a rich history of Matsieng whose footprint is permanently imprinted on the rocks. The footprints on the rocks are an enduring testament that on this land lived giants whose heads reached Maru-A-Pula, he said. “However this land was not only once inhabited by giants who left lasting prints on the rocks but it was also occupied, dare I say by men with physical stature of Tlhalefang Charles,” he said. He applauded Charles for using a camera and lens to shine spotlight on the beautiful landscape of Botswana and as such his photography will be a reference point for many generations to come.