Portrait artist Lebani Sirenje, popularly known as Rasta, was in attendance at the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) final Tshela Thupa rally at Orlando stadium in Soweto on Sunday, where he tried his hand at painting the party’s commander-in-chief Julius Malema.
While Rasta is often accused of getting his portraits horribly wrong, and is famous – or infamous – on social media as a result, it seems he “got it right” with his portrayal of Malema, as one Twitter user put it.
Whether this is good or bad news is a matter of opinion, with some Twitter users seemingly impressed with Rasta for having improved and others apparently disappointed in the growth shown by the artist.
President Cyril Ramaphosa was not as lucky as Malema when it comes to how his Rasta painting turned out.
Rasta was in attendance at the ANC manifesto launch and 107th birthday celebration at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban in January, where his portrayal of the president was widely panned.
More recently, Sirenje was forced to defend himself on Twitter and explain that a portrait of Ramaphosa that was being slated on social media was not painted by him.
— Economic Freedom Fighters (@EFFSouthAfrica) May 5, 2019
If Rasta got it right this time surely SA voters will.
— Robert Mothabeng (@Robert04252669) May 5, 2019
lol I see sings of improvements
— WeVoteEFFin2019 (@T_Boi_SA) May 5, 2019
Rasta is now mastering his craft
— mpho mofolo (@mphomofolo) May 5, 2019
— Dube Thulani (@DubeThulaniYes) May 5, 2019
I think he was being deliberate with the other paintings, this is his best work thus far.????????????
— Seshego Sa MajaTladi (@SeshegoR) May 5, 2019
— ????????????????Sphamandla Lawrence (@_SphamandlaM) May 5, 2019
Nor Ras… Nor… This is unlike him… Who gave him permission to improve kodwa ???????????? pic.twitter.com/KHl9ziQc31
— SupaMega's Litigator (@HectorMakhata) May 5, 2019
That's not Rasta that i know lol or maybe he love our CIC pic.twitter.com/5mZ4v6kE5K
— Goitsemang Minivan (@GoitseKakapa) May 5, 2019