Mawande Ka Zenzile was born in Lady Frere, Eastern Cape. He gained a BA Fine Art from Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town, in 2014, where he is currently completing his MA Fine Art. He won the Tollman Award for Visual Art in 2014 and the Michaelis Prize in 2013. His work has been shown in numerous
solo and group exhibitions.
Residencies have taken place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (2014) and Norway (2008). Ka Zenzile has participated in academic conferences at institutions including the Michaelis School of Fine Art and Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig (2013); the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts, University of Cape Town (2012) and the Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town (2011). Many of these projects have been accompanied by performances.
Ka Zenzile works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture, installation and video. His subject matter derives from various sources, including but not limited to his own IsiXhosa modality, questions around ontology, popular imagery as well as socio-political and esoteric knowledge. He has stated ‘Through my work, I engage with politics, memory, violence, history, colonial legacies, and the notions of space and time. I constantly aim to negate stereotypes imposed on my work. Each and every artistic process I engage with is a continuous deconstruction of the ideologies and limitations I find imposed on me by the world.’
Combining mud, cow-dung with conventional materials in his work, Ka Zenzile challenges the component parts of hegemonic systems of thought as well as the assumptions underlying economic systems, political ideologies and various concepts which constitute the ‘norm’.