Mussa Chiwuala is an internationally acclaimed artist who has held exhibitions all over the world with his unique style of batik artwork. He was born as a paraplegic and learned painting batik artwork despite his disability He started painting during his youth when he used do some natural drawings in school. At times his teachers used to ask him to draw posters for them to use for class lessons. Never did he imagine that he would turn this talent into something profitable and something that would give him the opportunity to travel in various countries to exhibit. The turning point came when he was refused entry to the local University because of the fact that he had a disability and he used a wheel chair. Frustrated, he tried to look for a job but all attempts were in vain.
Then he met a man severely disabled by polio who used his mouth to paint and he introduced him to the medium of batik. After sometime under his tutelage, he held his first art exhibition in Malawi in 1979, which was a huge success. He later held other exhibitions in Vancouver, Canada; Sydney, Australia; Taipei, China; Cape Town, South Africa and Gaberone, Botswana among others.
His art consists of capturing different human activities that happen around him as a youth in the nearby village but mostly he love themes that relate to village women activities. His belief is that art can be used to preserve different cultural values that are to face extinction.
Currently Mussa’s passion for the artist has taken a backseat to a much greater cause, becoming a major activist in the disability community in Africa. He is now Botswana and is the head of SAFOD (Southern Africa Federation Of the Disabled) in Botswana. SAFOD is a leading Southern African disability-focused network engaged in coordination of activities of organisations of disabled persons in the Southern region that includes 10 countries (Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa. among others). Previously Mussa also served is an executive director of a disability organization that fights for the rights of persons with disabilities called FEDOM(Federation of Disability Organizations in Malawi) as well as being the Director of Very Special Arts Malawi that is affiliated to VSA International whose headquarters is in Washington DC. VSA International seeks to promote artistic expression among persons with disabilities and thus help build an Inclusive society. Although most people now are only aware of Mussa the activist not the artist, he feels privileged to have used art as a vehicle that opened doors to serve a much greater calling.