Rasta real name Lebani Sirenje biography – Lebani Sirenje, popularly known as Rasta is a Zimbabwean-born artist. Rasta became famous after painting portraits of celebrities following their death and displaying the artwork at their funeral.
The 41-year-old, who became popular for his controversial celebrity paintings, is often criticized on social media for his paintings. Many people say his paintings of celebrities do not look like the actual celebrities and therefore people have labelled him a bad artist.
Early life and education
Lebani Sirenje was born in Zimbabwe. He completed his primary school education at Ingwengwe primary school in 1990 and went on to Magwegwe Secondary School and completed in 1994
He moved from Zimbabwe to the North East of Johannesburg, moving between Hillbrow and Yeoville, before he settled in Berea.
He started his painting career at the age of nine at primary school and his passion for painting keeps growing. In an interview, Rasta the artist told Move! that he has many plans for his painting career.
He was born in 1977 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. His home town is Pumula East, Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. He is 41 years as of 2019.
Sirenje has painted many fallen celebrities and even political figures including Albertina Sisulu, as well as late musicians including Lundi Tyamara, Joe Mafela, Dumi Masilela, Hugh Masekela, Oliver Mtukudzi, HHP, Prokid, Mandoza, presenter Akhumzi Jezile and news anchor Vuyo Mbuli just to name a few.
Rasta the artist even attempted to paint President Cyril Ramaphosa and received backlash from the public.
— Kumkani (@Kumkani_Kalipa) January 12, 2019
“People do not understand the pressure that comes with painting in public, it’s not easy. Also, many people take pictures of my artwork when they are not complete and make comments on them. Some families are shocked when I send them the final artwork and see how good it looks, considering all the comments they see on social media about the artwork.” – he told Move! in an interview.
Lebani Sirenje Family
The father of two Lebani Sirenje says criticism is everywhere and he has learnt to accept and expect it. The artist says his youngest daughter who is only five years old is also a good painter and he reckons that art runs in his blood.
Image Courtesy: Google