Rasta might have some serious competition on his hands after a local artist left Somizi speechless with a truly excellent work of string art.

These are early signs yet, but 2021 could yet prove to be an exciting year for celebrity inspired art. The last half a decade has been dominated by the comical, yet viral, work of Lebani Sirenje AKA Rasta, who is famous for getting his celebrity portraits wrong, more often than he gets them right. However, hope is emerging in the form of young up and coming artist named Gontso, whose depiction of Idols Judge Somizi Mhlongo has gotten the country talking.

Somizi heaps praise on GMC String Art

Impressing Somizi Mhlongo is no an easy feat! The seasoned entertainer is not only one of the greatest performing artists in the history of South Africa – he is also an expert at identifying talent from a distance. So you can imagine what it must have taken for him to dedicate an Entire Instagram video post to a young artist who sent him a range of Somizi-inspired string art.

The collection included a beautiful, Dinner with Somizi themed capital letter “S” frame, as well a breath-takingly realistic portrait of Somgaga himself. The works of art were woven entirely from string and the resemblance to Somizi in the portrait was uncanny.

The work was created by an artist who introduced herself as Gontso on her personal website, and Somizi shared some of her personal story in the video as he introduced her to the country. The author gushed, “So, this beautiful young talented South African, look what she did … she is self-taught and she started practising during Covid-19.”

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He displayed the collection around his office and showed it off with a beaming smile on his face.


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A post shared by Somizi (@somizi)

Could Rasta finally be replaced?

Nobody is quite sure how Rasta established himself as the most recognised celebrity portrait artist in the country, but it’s more the result of irony than talent. Rasta’s paintings have gained fame for looking nothing like the subjects he attempts to depict and his collection has become more and more of a running joke with every year that’s gone by.

Somizi doesn’t appear to be a fan of his work either. Rasta angered the 48-year-old entertainer with his depiction of the late Mary Twala, Somizi’s mother who passed away in 2020.

It takes a lot to dazzle Somizi, and these might be early days yet but Gontso has given South Africans hope that a new celebrity portrait queen might have arrived.


A Rasta replacement? Somizi is in awe of this self-taught artist’s skill!

We might have found a replacement for #Rasta if Somizi’s reaction to this self taught artist’s work is anything to go by!

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