Mozambican visual artist Lizette Chirrime was among the guest speakers at a Women’s Day event at Den Anker restaurant at the V&A Waterfront on Saturday August 10.
She spoke about the abuse she suffered as a child and shared her journey of becoming an artist.
“Because I was the only
dark-skinned child in the house, I always got discriminated against.”
She said that all the heartache and physical pain she endured made her live in a shell.
She would spend her days by herself, hidden from the rest of the world. However, she soon came to realise that suffering could not be all that life had to offer her.
So, at the age of 23, she gathered up the courage to run away, but she still did not find happiness.
“I didn’t have any self confidence, I stayed away from the sun because I didn’t want to get any darker than I already was.”
A turning point in her life came when her son was born.
“I came to know true love when he was born. He gave me the will to face my demons and fears.”
She started creating art by using recyclable materials and soon found her first client, with others to follow.
In 2005, she fled Mozambique and came to South Africa and continued to make art.
She now lives in Woodstock and said her career as an artist took off as soon as the media took notice.
She has designed glasses for a Belgium brewery company, Liefmans and she also designed a fountain for Spier wine farm in Stellenbosch. And to top it off, Lizette’s work is curated at museums in Portugal, London, Durban, Cape Town and Mozambique just to name a few.
She no longer cries or
feels sad. “I am very happy
for where I am today and I just
want to say that I will forever be grateful for the tears because they are the reason why I am strong today.
“I am not yet where I want to be, but I am far from where I started. Today I can confidently say that I am a successful artist.”