Mozambican painter Malangatana dies in Portugal
Jan 5, 2011, 14:14 GMT
Lisbon - Mozambican painter Malangatana Valente Ngwenya died Wednesday in Portugal at the age of 74, hospital sources said.
Malangatana had been hospitalized for several days in Matosinhos. He had suffered from a long illness.
Portuguese and African artists and experts deplored the passing of the painter and poet of modest origin who rose to become a UNESCO artist for peace.
Malangatana's work has been exhibited around Africa, Europe, the United States and Asia.
Born in the village of Matalana in then Portuguese Mozambique, Malangatana attended mission schools, worked as a ball boy at a tennis club and later resumed his education by taking night classes.
Jailed during the pro-independence struggle, Malangatana later studied art in Portugal. He was awarded a degree honoris causa by the University of Evora in 2010.
Malangatana created a broad work of art in mediums ranging from sculpture to murals. His works frequently focus on historical and political events such as the anti-colonial struggle.
One of Mozambique's 'most charismatic' personalities, Malangatana 'crossed the frontiers' of Africa and became a 'living legend,' said Domingos Simoes Pereira, executive secretary of the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries.
Angolan artist Antonio Ole described Malangatana as a 'provocative' painter whose 'energy' inspired many African artists.