Mhelepu Shillingi, a young lady making a living off her talent. She initially did it as a hobby up until 2020 when she decided to spend more time and focused on her hobby then turned it into something that made her money.
As a then second year student at the Institute of Finance Management (IFM) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, she took it up to the university campus and a restaurant in a popular building in the heart of Dar es Salaam to show the public what she can do. She was sketching in public spaces and that’s where she got recognition and many of her first customers, which is where the journey of a full time artist and how she started making money off her talent. Over two years in with over a hundred drawings and as a full time artist, she has found so much growth in her journey. Learning how to paint, teaching and selling her work she has also found the artists community very supportive and collaborative.
Mhelepu Shillingi, a young lady making a living off her talent.
Mhelepu still finds that most people do not understand the work of art. Time, creativity and focus put into your work does not get valued especially when you are trying to sell your work.
In collaboration with Kiafrika Online Market, Mhelepu is now working on growing her customer base outside Tanzania as for the past few years most of her customers have been within Tanzania.
She has managed to find an identity for her work by having a mix of colours in the background and using charcoal and graphite on her drawings.