Arts & Academia

Bank Marketer by Day, Expressionist Artist by Night

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By Tanya Maswaure

“It won’t be worth it until you invest something into it”, Nyasha Chidavaenzi Choga stated in an exclusive interview with Amazons Watch Magazine. Nyasha has persevered in her corporate work, graduating from the University of Cape Town, University of Natal and leading Corporate affairs in one of the largest banks in her country; she has sold artwork that has crossed the shores of Africa. Nyasha has found success in her passion, and this is how she did it.

“If you asked me at the age of 8 what I wanted to be, I would say artist. No two ways about it!” Nyasha explained. She shared that from a young age, she knew what she wanted to do and all through high school, she worked well towards it. Nyasha remained determined on that path working towards O levels and A levels in art. Being an African daughter from a conservative family, she knew that she had to find a career path that was “employable” and “representable”.

The closest thing to an art career was architecture. “I was working so hard towards getting into an architecture course, but unfortunately, I didn’t do well in A Levels”.

She was accepted into the University of Cape Town and took Fine Arts as a minor. Her studies were going well until she decided to take art as her major, which did not sit well with her family, and they urged her into Marketing.

“Apparently, I was distraught, I don’t remember, but I do remember promising that 20 years from then, I was going to pick up art again.” Indeed, she did almost 20 years later during her maternity leave as she was planning some interior decorating Nyasha decided to do her paintings and this is how her journey back to art began.

“It has been a lot of fun, and it just goes to show you should never let go of your dreams; at the same time, don’t hold on too tight. Allow yourself to be flexible.” Since then, Nyasha has made significant strides in her work and her special hobby.

She started small with an introduction to diptych art. Diptych art is a type of abstract art that uses acrylics on canvas. She quickly picked it up and has been featured in several exhibitions. Soon she started workshops that have become increasingly popular, with her booth attracting crowds and much attention.

Nyasha has also collaborated with The Industry Girls Network, which works with architects and designers to create beautiful spaces. Many of her paintings continue to sell across the borders.

Now Nyasha continues to balance both work and art, taking days off when necessary whilst sustaining her day job. “Something exciting started happening; one of my daughters now wants to be a DJ and a vet. She says I can do it because mom also has two jobs.”

She exclaimed, laughing. Her passion has allowed her children to dream beyond the basics. Nyasha expressed the importance of encouraging a child to be passionate and dream, “but you must really do your research, so I have to do my research on making money as a DJ and living a good life for my daughter, and I will not give up.”

Nyasha is evidence that a dream can never expire and that the idea of a starving artist can be made something of the past. It is never too late to do what you love, and with the right balance dream can surely become a reality, and a passion can bear fruit.

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