Kalahari San (Bushmen) Of Botswana

When I moved to Botswana in 2008, I knew very little about the place. All I knew was that they had a bustling diamond industry and that it was the most stable country in Africa. The former meant little to me but the latter meant the world to me (who would want to move to a place filled with violence and insecurity?). On getting here I have come to realize that there is so much more about this beautiful country to behold. I live in the North close to the wildlife reserves and its many animal inhabitants. Every year during the hunting season, tourists come in their thousands to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

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It is a New Year......now what?

Challenges are meant to bring out the best in us and I am glad they are doing just that in my life. After receiving the news of my father's death, all I wanted to do was paint...paint and paint some more. Grief comes with it an array of feelings and there is no one best way of dealing with it. For me, talking about my feelings helped but what brought tremendous amount of healing was painting.  I spent the weeks following his death painting. Something was unlocked somewhere and there was a great outflow of inspiration. I wonder; is that why many of the great masters had very sad and unhappy lives? Why is sadness and grief always closely associated with great inspiration?

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Acrylic Painting: Surreal and Still

ACEO Shakawe by Nkolika Anyabolu 96.JPG

This is from one of the several pictures I took while on a trip to Shakawe, a town near the border between Botswana and Namibia.

There were children fishing in the small pond but I left them out in this painting. Will put them in the bigger one I intend to do someday.

What caught my attention were the reflections the vegetation at the side of the pool made in the still water. I don't know why I am always fascinated by reflections seen in water.

They almost always look very surreal and still. Qualities I long to imbibe.

Acrylic Painting: Man's Best Friend

Painting by Nkolika Anyabolu

This is another painting of a strange dog that came up to me and felt so safe and relaxed beside me as I stood at a bus stop.

I see a lot of beauty in these creatures and I sometimes wish all human beings can be like dogs. Dale Carnegie, in his book: How to win friends and influence people; used a dog to describe how we ought to be in other to win people over. And I couldn't agree with him more.

I love it when they wag their tails in joy and anticipation. And no matter what you do they will always come running to you anytime you get home....always happy to see you. Come to think of it: why can't we all strive to be like that? Wouldn't the world be a much better place to live in?

Acrylic on paper painting of Giraffes

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Acrylic painting of giraffe silhouettes by Nkolika Anyabolu (MD)

Giraffe Silhouettes

20cm x 28cm

copyright Nkolika Anyabolu (MD)

For some time now I've been having a lot of fun and deriving a lot of joy from painting wildlife. It definitely is influenced by where I have found myself......................Botswana.  Botswana hasn't been good to me in a lot of ways, but I have simply chosen to see the good sides of the place.  I keep saying I'm way too young to burden myself with thoughts that will not in anyway make me a better person or make me happy. The bottom line's that I am too young to send myself to an early grave. Needless to say it is always very important to try and see the beautiful side of any where you find yourself.

Coming here opened a totally new chapter in my life. A chapter I was not in anyway ready for (can we ever be completely ready for what life throws at us?). But like a popular saying in my culture that says "a na awachi uwa ogodo"............which means adorning life with beautiful ornaments no matter the circumstances, I decided a long time ago to keep my shoulders straight and walk with my head high at all times. Yeah, like the giraffes in the painting above. If I could get my neck to be that long I would definitely be making a statement to the world around me that I have simply chosen not to be deterred.

What is it that you're going through now?Have things happened that have made your shoulders slouch and made you constantly afraid of looking the world in the eye? Brace up and know you're not (never alone). Like giraffes who never walk with their heads low, may we all learn to stare down adversities and disappointments.

Everyone reaches a point in their life where they must either change or cease

Brett Whiteley

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