Arlindo Maunde | Mozambique

Born in 1969 in Mozambique, Arlindo is one of eight children. At twelve years old he started sketching, this was his first encounter with creative arts. He was introduced to fine art in 1988 by another artist named Azimir.

Later that he year he would have to leave his home country to escape the civil war. He was at an age where young men were being recruited into the army and the decision to leave Mozambique was motivated by his parents, as most men who joined the army never returned home, including his cousins, one as young as seven years old.

It would cost one hundred rand to send Arlindo to South Africa, his mother only managed to raise sixty rand from selling some of their belongings. It was during this period that his father was shot in another province in 1986, where he spent two years in hospital. The time apart would have a significant effect on Arlindo and his siblings. Schools were being targeted by both the military and rebels to recruit child soldiers, this led to one of brothers quitting school.

Without a formal education, Arlindo moved to South Africa in 1988. At eighteen years old, he struggled to find his feet in a new country. People in rural areas offered him shelter until he found himself in a Krugersdorp township called Kagiso in the year 1990. He moved around a lot thereafter and finally settled in Meadowlands, Soweto.

Arlindo found employment as a delivery man at South African Breweries. He didn’t speak a word of English then but managed to learn IsiZulu and SeSotho from the children in his township. In 1996 after showing his colleagues a family photo album with a few of his earlier sketches, word spread that Arlindo was an artist. Paul le Roux, a manager at SAB invited Arlindo to his office after hearing about his secret skill to encouraged Arlindo to pursue a career in art.

A market manager at Randburg waterfront offered him space to work on condition that he did live paintings. Juggling the demands of a full-time job and the calling of a lifelong passion was not easy. In May of 1996, Arlindo resigned from his job at South African Breweries to concentrate on art full- time. A decision that has not changed in twenty-three years.

Regardless of his past, Arlindo Maunde is not an angry man. He has accepted his past and uses art as means of healing. The subjects in his paintings are always happy, mirroring his positive outlook on life. He chooses to paint children to compensate for the time lost where he wished he was a better father to his own children. He also paints women as remembrance of how his mother took care of him and his siblings during a very dark time in history.

Without any formal education, Arlindo has become a successful artist who has triumphed over his circumstances. He was never signed by an art gallery and prefers working as an independent artist. Arlindo feels he made the right decision by pursuing an art career and believes he still has much to offer as an artist after a thirty-year career.

His works are now being exhibited in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Italy, Australia, United States of America, Germany, Portugal, United Kingdom, Dubai and many more.

Arlindo Maunde | Mozambique

Selected Works