An art teacher from a school in Malmesbury in the Western Cape was so proud of the incredible efforts of one of her art students, that she shared his work on social media…

The shy Grade 12 learner has now gone viral on social media for his evocative artwork. The black and grey pieces he produced for his final exams depict the world he sees around him. Poverty, people, and life in South Africa.

According to a report on IOL, Cohnwille Swarts poured his heart into his exam pieces after losing his mother during lockdown. His father passed away a few years ago and the 18-year-old is now living with family members.

“This boy lost his mother during Lockdown and still he gives his utmost best… This is why I do what I do… because of kids like him. Cohnwille Swarts juffrou is so trots op jou!” posted Celeste Arendse who teaches visual arts at Schoonspruit Secondary School.  “I am so proud!!!”

Shortly after she uploaded the images, they were shared by hundreds of South Africans who were deeply moved by the works of art, and praised Swarts’s natural talent. Commenters encouraged the young man to pursue his dreams of becoming a professional artist.

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Some even wanted to purchase the works.

Here are just a few of the comments:

Wendy Diener: Celeste Arendse I am in absolute awe of this gentleman’s work! Oh my hat!!! His artwork needs to be auctioned or sold and he deserves a good price! Amazing amazing! Kids that pull through anything and everything! Please can a sponsor be found so that this child’s creativity is not lost in a system of financial deprivation.!! Amazing work

Pearl Bindeman Leng: I’d like to contact this young man l must own one of his pieces please let me know absolutely amazing artwork done from the heart

Chrishilde Loubser: I’m speechless a mother of an Art matriculant obtaining distinction and in top 15 of Namibia ….I can honestly say this is one gifted and talented young boy who deserves the highest accolade for showing the world a glimpse into his. So so amazing I would love to buy a piece from him in honor of his mommy and his bravery.

Gladys Joosten: Breathtaking! WOW

Shelley McLean Downham:

Dear Cohnwille,

Thank you for allowing us into your world and for sharing your unbelievable talent with us. You are supremely gifted. This year has been hard for everyone, but for you, losing your Mom… well, I can not imagine. The world is your oyster and you have a planet full of people who want to see you thrive and succeed. Please share your dreams with us

Dear Celeste Arendse,

From one teacher to another, I am grateful to you for celebrating this young man and for impacting his life. The Arts can be a life saving area from which we gain strength to continue and I encourage you to remain as dedicated as you are.

I think I speak for many, that we would love to buy a print of Cohnwille’s work, when and if appropriate and possible.

God Bless you both