11 July, 2014

Charlington Chara: A soldier for the fine arts

Litsa Masuku

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, and as usual the festival has attracted more artists from different parts of Africa and beyond.
Over the years the National Arts festival has been perceived as a great platform for young artists who aspire to make it in the world of entrepreneurship.
Carlington Chara who is already accomplished at 21
“My name is Carlington Chara, I am 21 years old from Zimbabwe but I am based in Cape Town with my family due to business purposes.  The festival is good for our business because tourists support us a lot and we get to make good profit.”
Whenever the word ‘artist’ is mentioned people tend to think it is all about music. Yet there are different types of artistic works that can be showcased especially during an arts festival.  Chara is an exceptional handwork artist, whose work range from handbags to wallets and waist belts. 
“It takes time to make a handbag because first I need to come up with a pattern and then conduct measurements. I develop patterns in different ways. Sometimes I rely on other people to give me ideas and some I come up with by myself.  After taking the measurements I then cut all the pieces I will need to use in order to put together the pattern I want, using some glue.  At times it is challenging putting together the pieces using glue because I have to be extra cautious not to make any mistake.”
For Chara, art is something which runs through the family, with his father inspiring his passion.
“[I wanted] to be a soldier but my father did not allow me to pursue that route,” Chara says.  “Instead he wanted me to do what he does, which is handwork art.”

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