Mwelwa Musonko (Tax!)
Enlarge image The Fifth Element issue 00 (pencils) (© Mwelwa Musonko) Mwelwa Musonko is a Zambian comic book artist. He is the founder and owner of Foresight Comics. Since 2015 he has published The Sweeper, an ongoing series of two issues and a three-page teaser published in The Time-Machine’s Comic Book and Literary Arts Day anthology in 2017. Nowadays, Mwelwa is working on the publication of The Fifth Element; a saga about a teenage super-heroine who fights against climate change.
Mwelwa Musonko is a 26 year old Zambian artist. He was born and raised in Lusaka. He graduated from the University of Zambia in 2015, where he attained a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Library with Information Science and Public Administration). He never studied arts but is rather self-taught. In just two years Mwelwa has made himself a name in Zambia. Besides comic book art, Mwelwa pioneered in political satire illustrations as the resident illustrator at Zambia Weekly.
He is known to exude a signature art style that he completes by signing the word ‘Tax!’; which when asked he jokes confirming that his surname Musonko is Bemba (his ethnic tribe) for tax.
Enlarge image Pesticide War (Satirical Illustration) (© Mwelwa Musonko) Mwelwa’s artistic influences include reading comic books and mangas, watching cartoons, anime and movies and playing videogames - it is no surprise that the artist aims to develop his creations across different media platforms. According to Mwelwa, besides drawing comic books, he is already working in games as he is the resident designer for a videogame titled The Lumpa Project; a thriller that follows the mysteries surrounding Alice Lenshina and the Lumpa church of Zambia before independence. Mwelwa thrives to create a comic book industry. His vision is to use art to create employment for creatives and non-creative professionals alike. He also hopes to use his comic books to improve the reading culture in Zambia and to serve as reference for national history and heritage. “I don’t think it’s supposed to be easy, but I believe it’s possible. Maybe not for others, but for me it is. Because I believe it is my purpose” he says. The Fifth Element comic book series is scheduled for launch on the 4th of May, 2018 at the Lusaka Arts Festival at LICS and on the 5th of May, 2018 at the Lusaka Comic Con (LsCon) at the American Dome inside the Lusaka Show Grounds. The Sweeper comic book will be resumed next year. Mwelwa is also working on other comic book titles which he intends to publish. So he assures us: “The future looks very comical”.