Local artist teaches CURE Malawi patients how to draw

“I was born an artist. It started out for fun like any other kid, and when I was about nine years old, I saw someone who was good and wanted to learn.”

Seraiah Mdala is a local volunteer who teaches art to the children here at CURE Malawi! He is the son of our theater matron, Forcina Mdala, and creativity is his passion. Seraiah says that in the past, he did not come to the CURE Malawi hospital often, but now he comes into the hospital between one and three times a week.

“Portraits and cars are my favorite objects to draw. It was also the two favorite objects of the man who taught me to draw when I was nine. It’s really cool to see the kids having the same interest in drawing those objects.

Seraiah uses his art to help teach and inspire the children.

“Mark and Mary Diane Deysher (CURE Malawi’s Executive Director and his wife) were at my house visiting, and while talking, I showed them my art. They took interest and said, ‘Hey, you could do something great with this!’ They asked me to come into the hospital and teach the kids how to draw, and so I started volunteering.

Seraiah guides Harriet as she draws a portrait.

“There are children like Harriet who have been through a lot of suffering and are in the hospital for a long time. I taught her how to draw a person only once, and she mastered it immediately. My best drawings come when I am stressed. It is great to see art help the kids in their hardest times as well.”

Seraiah teaches Chimwemwe how to draw eyes for her portraits.

Seraiah not only teaches the children how to draw, but he also helps with our mobile library. He says, “I guess you could say reading inspires my artwork. After reading, I get a lot of pictures in my head, and then I draw. I believe books open our mind to creativity.

Seraiah helps out with Malawi’s Mobile Library while teaching Blessings (left) and Awali (right) how to draw pictures from the books.

“I encourage the kids to follow their passion and what their hearts tell them. My parents used to tell me to focus on school, rather than drawing, but I think you can do both. I never gave up. My drawing skills developed and my parents were impressed. The kids here are so gifted. They should trust their hearts because it will lead them to a great destination.”


Photo of the Alexis Gilmore

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