FT. Award Winning Actress Monalisa
One Saturday every month Nafasi Artist Space offers a free Chap Chap workshop to give people of all ages a chance to learn from one of our artists and have fun doing so. October’s workshop was extra special; Nathan Mpangala, a Nafasi artist and well-known cartoonists in Tanzania hosted a Chap Chap Caricature Workshop. It happened on 27th of October alongside his friend, the actress Yvonne Cherry, aka Monalisa.
The Nafasi team spent much of that morning clearing the hall and getting the materials ready for the workshop. Pencils, sharpeners and erasers were put out alongside papers and markers. The activity was designed to be fun and interactive so boards were cut and put beneath every piece of paper so that attendants could move around and draw in any surface they want. A speaker was also brought in to play music. And by three o’clock, the hall was ready to welcome all the guests.
The first to arrive was our guest of honour, Monalisa, who brought with her thirty students from her film acting workshops. Actresses like Susan Lewis aka Natasha also came to revive her artistic mojo. Cartoonists from all over Tanzania such as Saidi Michael aka Wakudata, Regis Simon, Meddy Anjuani and David Chikoko joined Nathan to provide guidance to the attendees. More Visual artists from Nafasi like Masoud Kibwana, Magreth attended they were joined by other attendees and overall about 60 people filled the hall ready for Nathan to start the activity.
Nathan first asked the audience for a definition of caricature and after three of four wrong answers, someone finally answered correctly, say that it was a drawing with exaggerated features. Nathan then began to provide an example on a flipchart, drawing president Mkapa in three or four strokes, while explaining that the key to a good caricature is selecting two of three stand-out features and ignoring the rest; with his in mind, the audience was then invited to select the features that they were going to draw on the faces of their friends or of Monalisa. After choosing what, or who they wanted to draw, everyone was free to begin. The music played and there was the sound of sketching and erasing as people worked on masterpieces that for once would be judged on joy, where the best work was ones the on that made people laugh the most. As the day progressed everyone was keen to show their work and share a moment with Monalisa, who happily took pictures with them and their drawing. It was everything a Chap Chap workshop is designed to be, fun, educational, engaging, and unforgettable; a precious memory for all the people, young and old, who took their chance to learn something new.
- -Jesse Gerard