2019 Sep. 1: Queers Converse

by Nonkululeko Dube

I was invited to document a dinner gathering on August 1st 2019. It was hosted in Parktown North, Johannesburg,  by David Lewis-Peart who lives in Toronto, Canada. He was invited to South Africa by Prof/Sir Zanele Muholi for Faces and Phases 13 exhibition, which took place at Stevenson Gallery in Parktown North on the 20th of July 2019. Few minutes after I arrived at David’s place, his guests also started to arrive. These were not just any guests; they were intellectual black queer men.

While waiting for everyone else who was still on their way they opened a bottle of wine. And very interesting conversations emerged, like when someone asked what everyone thought on the issue of being “post-gay” meaning is the public seeing being gay as being equally valid forms of human expression. Right there and then I knew for certain they are going to need more wine. In my own head I thought it is about damn time that the public stop worrying about people’s sexualities, when the whole world is faced with paedophilia and cumulative rape cases. But this was not my place to be engaging my thoughts to the conversation. After all David has a good reason for wanting only black queer men at this gathering; I just happened to be a photographer in the space.


I have never been in a space where black men are actually allowed to show their sensitivity to anything. Being a girl that was raised by her grandparents in a rural area, where young men are taught to be strong. We even have a saying in IsiZulu that says “Indoda ayikhali” (Men don’t cry), so this gathering was an eye opener for me in actual fact. Eventually everyone arrived and they were talking about how they came out as gay men in their communities. What I realised is that okay fine these people here in this space are coming from different backgrounds but they relate with each other’s stories. David’s friend brought food, it was too spicy and others complained but it smelled really nice and we could not wait to dig in already. We had to wait for Welcome Lishivha who had gone back to his house to fetch a projector and a speaker, since we were going to watch a film later that night.


I remember this one time they were talking about the gay community, one of the guests said they have chosen to distance themselves from the community in order to find their individual self. Because of so many stereotypes on black gay men and expectations on how gay black men should carry themselves. Especially with the common people on social media and television who “claim” to be representing gay black men. And all they doing is just putting standards that other gay black men do not relate with. And they say the gay community always pretends like all gay men are one, whereas they cannot even relate to a gay white man and when they are together with them, they never fit in nor feel part of the community. But also acknowledging the privilege that they have as professionals compared to being a broke gay person in South Africa.


Welcome finally came back and we all started dishing up and eating. They were officially running out of wine but at least at this point there was still one sealed bottle. After eating I asked everyone to move from the dinning area to a sitting room, where I took a group portrait. Then David told us that he has been working on this documentary in Canada. The one we were about to watch the screening of. Its about Gay men in Canada opening up about their sexual life and intimacy. The film was amazing, everyone in the room loved it and David announced that he would actually like to make the same documentary with every gay man that was at the dinner gathering. People were really excited and they wanted myself and David to start the documentary that very same night, unfortunately he told them that it was very late and I had to go to school the next morning. But I really enjoyed every moment with those guys. It felt like we had known each other for years, when I had just met most of them that very same night.

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Posted in 2013 Miss Gay Limpopo, Activated queer spaces, African Queer Beauty, and Queerness, Archiving Queer Her/Histories in SA, Art is Queer, Black Gay Graduates in SA, Black Gay Men Write Rights, Black Gay Wedding, Black Queer & Gifted, Black Queer Artists, Black Queer Born Frees, Black Queer Born Frees in SA townships, Black Queer Born Frees in South Africa, Black Queer Professionals, Black Queer Social, Black Queer Talent, Black Queers, Conversation, Critically Queer, Durban Gay Centre, Exchanging Queer thoughts, Gay, Gay & Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA), Gay Umbrella, Great conversation, Know Your SA Queer History, Lerato Dumse in conversation with Lindeka Qampi and Zanele Muholi, Love is Queer, Mainstreaming our queer issues, Open conversations, Queer & Straights, Queer Africa, Queer Africans speaking for themselves., Queer community, Queer Education in SA, Queer Edutainment, Queer Pride, Queer South Africa, Queer texts, Queer visibility, Queer World, Queer Youth, Uncategorized, United Queer Nations | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Aug. 31: Reclaiming Blackness: Ikhono LaseNatali

Written by: Tebogo Nong

Ikhono LaseNatali is an exhibition commissioned by Professor Sir Zanele Muholi featuring the works of 25 talented Durban-based artists who have interpreted Sir Muholi’s Somnyama Ngonyama (Hail, the dark lioness).

The Cape Town edition of Ikhono LaseNatali felt like a family gathering of the young and the old, celebrating art in all its facets. The exhibition opened with blessings from Pastor Tebo Moema and a thought provoking poem by Christie Van Zyl. Prof. Sir Zanele Muholi led us in song bringing a diverse group of people into oneness. A moment of learning and unlearning. They also recommended tools for exploration like Sarah Thornton’s book, Seven Days in the Art World. The exhibition viewing was followed by some of our favourite traditional cuisine, a true celebration.


2019 Aug. 31 Muholi _ Ikhono LaseNatali CPT020919_31

“I can afford to look at myself directly, risk the pain of experiencing who I am not , and learn to savior the sweetness of who I am” – Audre Lorde

In Somnyama Ngonyama -Sir Muholi turned their camera on themselves to explore all facets of black identity, the archive confronts the politics of race and how it is experienced in different spaces. In the same way Ikhono LaseNatali spoke to reclaiming blackness and self- expression, the artists were given the opportunity to reinterpret the body of work through their own language of art.

Ikhono LaseNatali called us into understanding the politics of representation and what it means to transform and re-write art. We were able to rediscover and witness the beauty in black personhood; the kind of beauty that is often not depicted in the media and galleries. At its core the exhibition depicts the power of collectivism and visibility on black walls.

Ikhono LaseNatali CPT020919_15

Sir Muholi has written history and extended what it means to be a visual activist, not only in theory but in action and through the power of art, giving young artists a voice in spaces where their art can be welcomed and remembered in the collective consciousness. Through the exhibition Muholi has challenged how systems are constructed by giving artists a platform and giving them the tools to express and grow themselves.


The exhibition celebrates 25 years of Democracy and what better way to celebrate than to empower the youth and write what has not been written; bringing creative freedom and messages into place.

The interconnection between Somnyama Ngonyama and Ikhono LaseNatal is that Muholi used props in their immediate surroundings; similarly the artists used various mediums from charcoal, to beadwork and other forms of multimedia to express different aspects of identity. Both collections speak to fearlessly being present in a space. Sir Muholi’s work is a brave statement of what it means to use your voice beyond people’s expectations. Sir Muholi has allowed young artists to roar ; by posing the question of identity through our thoughts, memories, beliefs, discoveries, adaptation, innovation, spirituality and transformation.

Ikhono LaseNatali CPT020919_84 sm

With works by Nhlanhla Chonco, Mduduzi Dzanibe, Thalente Khomo, Lindokuhle Khumalo, Bongani Luthuli, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Morgan Mahape, Nkosikhona Majola, Mpilo Makhanya, Andile Maphumulo, Mthobisi Maphumulo, Buhle Wonder Mbambo, Mondli Mbhele, Ncumisa Mcitwa, Khulekani Mkhize, Nhlakanipho Mkhize, Mlamuli Mkhwanazi, Sphephelo Mnguni, Thembi Mthembu, Londiwe Mtshali, Nomusa Mtshali, Lungisani Ndlovu, Major Ndlovu, Lindani Nyandeni, and Zwelinjani Radebe.

Curated by: Dr. Bajabulile La Dhlamini Sidzumo and Thobeka Bhengu.

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Posted in 2014 Oct. 2 Cape Times article, 2018 Somnyama Ngonyama Book Launch @ WISER, Akershus Art Centre, Art, Art Activism, Art Activism in South Africa, Art collectors, Art Edutainment, Art for Humanity, Art Is A Human Right, Art Solidarity, Art Therapy, Exhibition, Exhibition opening, Exhibitions, Ikhono LaseNatali, Somnyama Ngonyama, Somnyama Ngonyama at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Aug. 19: 25 years of Democracy, Christianity and LGBTI+ Community.

by Tinashe Wakapila

Part One: 25 years of democracy as Christian LGBTI+ persons in South Africa, the Genesis “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve or madam and Eve” snort comment.

May 1996, South Africa became the first jurisdiction in the world to provide constitutional protection to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex + (LGBTI+) people, via section 9(3) of the South African Constitution, which disallows discrimination on race, gender, sexual orientation and other grounds.’ Taking this aspect in a Christian religious community an unfathomable door was opened to new interpretation and revelations of the new meaning of the word of God the bible. Oh yes! Just as the bible mentions in Matthew 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be lost in heaven” with regards to that, as the legislature had open arms, a shift in many set apart communities was moved, for example churches and houses of worshipping. This article is not subject to any wide range community research but just a small scale informed archive (Myself) from experiences and information I retained in mingling with the locals.

Of up to 8 Queer led churches, namely

Victory Ministry Church International (VMCI): Founded by Apostle Z.M Zungu and late wife N.L Zungu on the base of Isaiah 61 vs 1-3. With 8 + branches in the entire country.

Parable of hope (unsure of the founder)

God’s presence Ministries led by Bishop Mnteshane

Fountain of Life Ministries (unsure of the founders)

Ark of Joy (unsure of the founder)

Joy Divine by Joshua Mosuoe

House of worship led by Apostle Dladla

Deo Gloria led by Apostle Deoborah Bell and Prophetess Marietjie Geldenhyus (Just to mention a few).

South Africa has broken the barriers no mankind in Africa has sort to. The Christian community strongly believed, (from a narrative or revelation passed down from generation to generation of tamed context from misinformed lineage of mankind) that Heterosexuality is the only sexuality in the genetics of mankind. Which I do not condemn because the hiding of the (LGBT+) community caused by fear of being erased from existence through brutal killings of them gave them a silent voice.

‘God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve or madam and Eve’ this for centuries and decades was interpreted in a way that stipulated God’s ability of being a stiff one minded creator to make 1 man for every 1 woman. Which is impossible, Demographics of South Africa alone state that 15–64 years 65.8% (male 16,275,424/female 15,984,181), 65 and over 5.4% (male 1,075,117/female 1,562,860) (2010 est.) . {Hold the thought} God does not make mistakes also comes as a supporting statement to the reason behind why people have to not be Homosexual because God created Adam and Eve. With mind and statement in thought it raises questionable doubt the issue of mankind creation must be used to condemn Homosexuality.

Not that statistics says be homosexual, but this is pure evidence that the Adam and Eve theory has been a wrong tool to use to say NO to homosexuality. Abused by self-righteous hypocritical Christians to put in dismay queer beings proves it is but just an insane and untrue judgement.

Most biblical abusive offenses to ridicule lgbti+ community in pursuit to detach us from the Christian community and demonize us is useless and personalized. In the 25 yrs of democracy I best believe a spiritual realm of open minded teachings of the context rose. The examples of them being useless has been proven because we have Queer led churches in South Africa that are successfully leading queer people to Christ, Victory Ministry Church International being proof, in particular I am a part of it. Having that church describes to me as an individual how democracy evolved in a blanket of acceptance for all.

Coming back to interpretation of the 25 years of democracy to the lgbti+ community arising to a better glory. I will tackle this article in the Christian/Spiritual religion aspect of this 25 years of democracy for the {LGBTIQ+} persons. The ground breaking of the whole ideology behind heterosexuality not being the only sexuality has been not really welcomed in the Christian Community. It has been a bumpy journey, accumulated lgbtiq+ identifying persons into the realm and challenges starting with because of a long time of rejection and condemnation queer people resorted to next best belief they could reach out to eg. Traditional Religion too.

“When you are spiritually connected, you are not looking for occasions to be offended, and you are not judging and labelling others. You are is a state of grace in which you know you are connected to God and thus free from the effects of anyone or anything external to yourself.” Wayne Dyer

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For the judgment you pronounce you will be judged unto, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your own eye, when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” Matthew 7:1-5

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own” Paulo Coelho, The alchemist.

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Posted in Article by Tinashe Wakapila, Bethany Baptist Church, Church, Church is not the closet, Churches, Dr (Pastor) Z. Zungu (VMCI), Pastor Z. Zungu of VMCI, Religion, South African Council of Churches, Uncategorized, Victory Ministries Church International, Victory Ministry Church International, Zion Church | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Aug. 16: Indima ye Faces and Phases.

Text and images by Siba Nkumbi

“We ́re faces and phases, and we are not misbehaving”_ Annalyzer music

Lamazwi angentla abamba ubunono, ukuzingca nkenkcubeko eyimbali engaxolisiyo kwaye ingenaspheno kunjalo nje iyinyaniso emsulwa kuphela. Le mbali iluhambo olungakhange lubelula kodwa ke ngemfefe zomdali namandla wamanyange side safika kwesisigaba seshumi elinesithathu sishumayela le vangeli.

Nonkululeko Dube 4C2A5282

Annalyzer next to her portrait is one of the participants who gave a stunning performance © Nonkululeko Dube

Ngoko ke ngochulumanco olugcwele ukuchwayitha ndivumeleni ndixhentse ndizombelela kule inyanga yekhala exhabashe izipho eyininyi kulomnyaka ka 2019. Ewe kaloku lomha wamashumi amabini kule imiyo sibiyozela isigaba seshumi elinesithathu sikulendima ye Faces and Phases. Ngeba ndiyanaba ngolwimi olu ndibhala ngalo kodwa ke ngexhala lokuba umzalezo ngulo uzakulahleka namazwi iyiyo ke imbhangi yokuba ndifake elo lwimi likhumshileyo apha naphaya kuba ke kaloku alitshoni lingenadaba. Masirhabuleni singafinci..

Lomhla ngumhla womboniso bhanya bhanya oze ubuso ngobuso, obonisa uhambo olunembali engenakuze iphikiswe nangubani. Kwaye iyimbali esizingcayo ngayo kudla ngokuthiwa kwaXhosa xa kwehle into embi maxa wambi ihle endlini kuthwe ukufa kusembizeni. Mandithathe lamazwi ndiwafake ukukhanya ndithi UKUFA KUSEMBIZENI. Ewe kaloku oluhambo lubonisa ukutshabalala kocalucalulo kuthi thina be LGBTIQ+ ngoko ke unobangela kukudinwa nokunganyamezeli ukukhatywa singenabhola ngenxa yesimo esidaliweyo kwaye siphila phantsi kwaso, asixolisi kwaye singazithobi kodwa sinqonqozisa ubukho nokuphila kwethu apha emphakathini njengeyidalwa zenkosi namanyange. Lithi iculo lama AME icawa 121 (Akwaba sendivuma) kuthwa yahlukana nayo inkohlakalo yakho uye kwantliziyo ndise mntasekhaya.


Mandinabe kancinci ngembali nenkxwaleko esiphila ngaphantsi kwazo ngenxa yokuthanda eibathandayo.

“Andinaxesha lalekaka uyenzayo lesbian ndini, okusalayo ndiyakuthanda kwaye ndifuna ndingakumithisa”
“Awuyondoda udinga nje ukuboniswa ungumfazi”
“Ndithanda ndingakuxhwila ndiyayazi xa usele ibhiya ezintathu unxila ugoduke, ndiyakulindela ekoneni phantsi kwalamthi umkhulu”

“Mfondin uzawthini ungabaweleki, uyayaz nam ndiyindoda”
“Ngenye imini sawze sidibane kwirhanga engaphumeliyo ndukubonise abantu”

Lamazwi ngamazwi asuka ebantwini angamadoda egrogrisa Lesbians kuba kaloku kuthiwa lento siyenzayo ayidalwanga, ima ndiyinqonqoyisise lendaba ndithi lamazwi athethwe kum ndisiva kwaye ndaziva ndihlukumezekile. Into endizama ukuyitsho wena mfundi kukuba

iyandibhida into yabantu aboyika into abangayaziyo. Andingomdali kwaye andigwebi wena.

mAzania omhle ngokonje ndicela ithuba lokuvala kwamawi ethu ngalemini inkulu zomhla wamashumi amabini kule imiyo.

Muholi is not only exhibiting pictures as a photographer, these are untold stories only visible to those that are willing to open their eyes and see, untie their laces to no longer run from the truth, learn how to love for they know better now. Below are pictures of queer people happy and free, my only wish is for these moments zibe sisiqhelo imihla ngemihla.

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Posted in A decade of Faces and Phases, Eight years of photographing Faces and Phases, Faces & Phases portraits, Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014) book launch..., Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014) book review, Faces and Phases (2006-14), Faces and Phases (2006-2014) introduction, Faces and Phases 10, Faces and Phases 13, faces and phases exhibition, Faces and Phases participant, Faces and Phases project, Featuring in Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014). Left - Right Dorothy Magone, Previous Faces and Phases book launches, Uncategorized, When Faces meet, When Faces Meet and Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Aug. 16: Imini engasoze ilibaleke

by Siba Nkumbi

Mfundi ndizakucela undiphe indlebe ukuze nam ndikwazi ukuza nazo ezindaba. Mamela

9A8A1327 copy

Lo umhla ngumhla esingakuze sikwazi uwulibala, ewe kaloku kuzalwa ingonyama emnyama genkani engaxolisiyo ngokuba nguye kuba kaloku amanyange amchonga ezihlele athi wena unguMuholi kwaye uzabahola endleleni.Ukuba lombhalo ungentla akakuniki ufifi lokuba ndithetha nagabani, ndinike ithuba wena ndikubhentsisele njengo vela bembhentsele noko ndakuza nembhalelwano ethe xhaxhe. Mandinabe, kunjalo nje nditshone egusheni.

Usingaye nguye kaloku umntu wakwa Muholi u Zanele igama ngokwesilungu ke siyakumbiza ngo Prof Sir Zanele Muholi. Ewe mani ndivumele ndithi ndingomye wababaliweyo ngokubhala ngalomphefumlo ungene ebomini babantu wabatshintsha wabakhulisa ebabonisa izakhono abanayo bengakwazi ukuzibona bona, hayi umntu uchongiwe kwaye indlela yakhe nobizo lwakhe lucace gca okwekati emnyama ehlungwini. Kwewu, amade ngawetyala. Ndivumeleni ndigxabhagxabhise okwamakhwenkwe asengqushwa enqumla ihagu ndingene endimeni, nam ndingazubamde! Mandikunike umfanekiso ngqondweni ukuze nawe ukwazi ukuhamba nam kulembhalelwano ivusisa izinkncwe!

Ngeminyaka emithile ezadlulayo namhlanje umfo omkhulu uzelwe, thina bamaziyo sizinkuku ezisikwe imilomo kodwa ke sivumele sichwayite xa kuzalwa lengqawa engumzekelo ekuhlaleni ndikunqonqozisise nditsho ndithi nawe uzakhuthi kwisizukulwana sesizukulwana



sesiyukulwanakazi sakho uthi nawe ubuzinxalenye yalembali eyenziwe leliqhawe ukuze elam nelakho ilizwi livakale kuthi thina bazinxalenye yombutho we LGBTIQ+ amazwi ethu athe avakala kwaye asezakuvakala apha emndintsini wesizwe sakhowethu. Nditsho ke ngalamazwi ndisithi Bayethe mnumzana, ubukho bakho sebuqwalaselwe kwaye buseza kuqwalaselwa kulomhlaba, lugqatso olu ulifezileyo kwaye ulufeze usaphila. Ngoko ke sithi umbulelo ongazenzisiyo ngobukho bakho siwunika wena Tata. Nekuku zakho zokuzalwa yizakuvumela, ngoko ke nam ndivumele nditshambaze ndibonise umfundi abenomfanekiso ngqondweni ngalomntu sizingca ngaye namhlanje.

Ndiyawbe ndixoxa imbhudede xa ndiphindaphinda uchulumanco endilalo kwaye endiqonda nawe mfundi unalo ngokuba lingqina ebomi balomnumzanga. Ndingawatsalanga ndithi mandithabathe elithuba wena Muholi osiholayo ndisithi khula Tata ukhokhobe, kuwe sifunde kwaye sisafunda lukhulu. Ndivumele ndithi siyakubulela ngomonde, ukundiliseka, uthando, uxolo nethemba kungenjalonje nesiphiwo esinguwe ebomini bethu. Ngalomazwi sithi imini yakho uyonwabele. Qhawe lamaqhawe, wena uvela umelwe ngumhlaba angagungqi xa uzalwa kuba usisilo ngokwakho, inkunzi edlezinye, umagrazula. Kwewu ndawthetha kude kubuye amanina emendweni, mandihle nomcinga ndisithi Aaah Mhlekazi! Makwande.

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Posted in A decade of Faces and Phases, Besides Happy Birthday, Birth, Birthdate, Birthday, Birthday wishes from friends and acquaintances, Birthplace, Eight years of photographing Faces and Phases, Faces and Phases, Faces and Phases (2006 - 2014) book launch..., Faces and Phases 10, Faces and Phases 13, Happy birthday, Happy birthday to me, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Aug. 14: Our Black Lion

Greatness is not bought or shared
You are born with it, it’s your God given gift while in your mother’s womb
Greatness is not made or sowed
It is your rightful inheritance from your ancestors that no one can ever take away

You stand head and shoulders above the rest, yet you remain humble and in touch with the soil that groomed you
You stand tall like a lighthouse, your light shining far and wide, blessing everyone that it illuminates

Your artistry can never be emulated, you are a picture perfect of firsts that will never have a last. You can only be imitated, never replicated

Like a lion only a few can compete with you, the only lion whose roars are heard from across the vast oceans, the only lion to climb mountains only dared to by others

Only you dared to prance where others feared; and conquered. The head of the herd, the leader of the pack

Our very own black lion,
Somnyama Ngonyama

Mantsha Khuzwayo is a Durban based emerging writer. A series of unfortunate events led to this new found passion. She is shy yet a great conversationalist, with a great sense of humour and a zest for life. She has written 2 books (self-published) a novel “Chronicles of a Single Lesbian” and a poetry book “The Different Faces of My Life: My Anthology”.

To further hone, master and mould her writing skills she accepted the title of Editor for the online magazine UniqMagazineSA. The magazine had awarded her a recognition for great impact in the LGBTIQ+ community award in 2017. An award she holds close to her heart as it’s her first from the community and for her writing.

In April of 2019 she was invited to the European Lesbian* Conference, held in Kiev, Ukraine. She was part of the creatives’ panel where she got to share her experiences as a lesbian writer in South Africa. She has performed and have been in invited to various stages in South Africa. When she describes her writing to people she says she is a writer that writes for people to relate, for people to find solace, she writes for people to know they are not alone and she writes for life.

Posted in 2018 Somnyama Ngonyama Book Launch @ WISER, Poem, Poetry, Somnyama Ngonyama, Somnyama Ngonyama at Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Muholi Shareout

Photo album by Faizal Westcott

Venue: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Living Room)

Location: Boston, MA, USA

Date: June 11 2019

As part of their Artist-In-Residency at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Prof Muholi facilitated a Shareout and Q&A with community members, most of them members of a youth art program.

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Posted in "Scratching the surface", ... with Lerato Dumse, Activism, Activists, Activists Act, Archive, Art Edutainment, Art for Humanity, Art Is A Human Right, Art Solidarity, Art Therapy, Artist Talk, Artists, Artivist, Arts, Arts & Culture, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2019 Aug. 12: Building towards my career

by Andile Phewa

Andile Phewa is a name that I believe now melts immediately into the world of Photography. This is  a medium that helps me open a window into my thoughts and concepts for the world to see. It is what I do for a living. It’s taken a lot to get here – pursuing a creative career is no easy feat. Growing up in Durban, where the creative space is quite limited in opportunity, would also prove that difficulty even more.

Most of my family, like my cousins, studied Finance and Engineering, so naturally, it was very difficult for my family to understand why I wanted to be a photographer. I studied Information Technology at the Durban University of Technology, and following that I moved to Johannesburg in pursuit of more freedom, working at ABSA Service Center. Six months later, I realised it wasn’t for me, and decided to tap into the world I’ve always been interested in. I wanted to do something creative, and luckily, I was in Johannesburg – the ultimate creative hub.

When I decided to stop working, I went to study Adobe After Effects at AAA School of Advertising. I completed the course and needed to do more. This struck a conversation on photography that would lead to what I know of my career today.

Prof. Zanele Muholi, to whom I’m related, and I have been in consistent contact since I started studying photography. We’ve shared an amazing bond together through ideas, laughter and good memories. A conversation between us  found her mentioning that I should go study at the Market Photo Workshop, School of Photography, and it happened.

She subsequently paid for my school tuition and equipment during my time at the Market Photo Workshop, and it was fulfilling to see how much she realised my potential in the photography space. To have gone to the lengths she did to help me become a better equipped photographer in my student days is something I’ll always hold close to my heart and career.

When I was doing my last course at the Market Photo, I’d started shooting commercial work, and Prof. Muholi asked me to start paying for my own tuition. At first I didn’t get why she did this, but I later realised that this was an attempt at making me responsible. It was time for me to grow as an individual, and as an artist.

I then moved to Cape Town, where I started shooting more commercial work for fashion houses. I was under a photographic agency but wasn’t happy. I went back to my sounding board , Prof. Muholi, for guidance. “You are already there, Andile. You don’t need the validation of an agency.“ Moved by her words, it was the perfect way to seal what was already the inkling to go out and be the photographer I wanted to be, completely on my own.

I left the agency and fully began my career as a freelancer. Prof. Muholi has been there, continuing to cultivate my career with me as she had been the years before this, and I’ve decided to delve into the world of directing short fashion films as my new venture. I’ve been through various journeys, and finally starting to build towards the career I’d always wanted all those years ago, growing up in Durban.

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2019 August 10: A thrilling weekend for PE Faces

By Mpimo Ngoveni

We all couldn’t contain our excitement as the countdown to Faces and Phases 13 exhibition began, reality kicked in the moment we finally hit the road en route to Johannesburg where the exhibition was set to take place at the Stevenson Art Gallery on Saturday the 20th of July. The entire journey was exhilarating as we chanted and danced all the way to the city of Gold, and we formed solid bonds in a split second like we’ve known each other for ages.

Upon arrival at the Reef Hotel in Johannesburg, we were received by Terra Dick, a Faces and Phases participant and a colleague of Prof Zanele Muholi who is a prominent visual activist and the founder of Faces and Phases. Prof had just celebrated their birthday on the 19thof July, the day prior to the exhibition and thought they would celebrate it in style by hosting a joint celebratory event for their birthday and Faces and Phases 13.


The event saw multitudes of LGBTQI+ and straight people from various parts of the country coming in to commemorate a legend. Not only for this sole purpose but also having the LGBTQI+ community coming together in unity, establishing new genuine relationships, sharing life experiences and allowing every member of the community an opportunity to be in a space where they are surrounded by their own kind.

Saturday the 20th was the big day and people came in their numbers. The Stevenson Gallery was packed to capacity full of gorgeous and charismatic faces from different walks of life, among others were public figures such as TKay Kaula, an actor, Sizakele Phohleli also known as her-mentality, an author, Buhle from the soil and Yaya Mavundla, a trans activist.

To begin with, we were graced with performances by very talented young black performers in the form of drama, poetry and singing while others would indulge and feast their eyes on the beauty of the exceptional artwork on display in the gallery, portraits of black heroic South Africa lesbians aimed at creating a visual history of black lesbian lives.


Thereafter, Prof Muholi gave a very profound speech encouraging everyone to work hard to establish themselves and also aim for greater heights, not only to take pride in their queerness but also be active members of the society bringing about positive change in their lives and the lives of those around them. The speech was very packed and insightful and there’s a lot you could take away from it.

Furthermore, Muholi went on to acknowledged all those who made it possible for Faces and Phases to be a reality today, the participants, and the team who worked tirelessly to ensure that the event is a success, also recognizing all those who stood by them during their dark days and those who contributed towards their establishment.

To sum it up, it was an experience of a lifetime, we made memories and shared moments that could never be traded for anything in the world.

Mpimo Ngoveni Bio (22)

Mpimo Kalman Ngoveni was born on the 6thof July 1997 at Khensani hospital in Giyani Limpopo and is the fourth and last child of Dora Ntebane and Joseph Ngoveni. Ngoveni spent most of her childhood days in Giyani where she began her foundation phase education at Vurhonga primary school and then went on to commence her high schooling in Pretoria at Tshwane Secondary school but later on Matriculated at Giyani High school with recognition of outstanding achievement in Life sciences and Mathematics.

Ngoveni then enrolled at Nelson Mandela University, formerly known as Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. In her spare time, Ngoveni volunteers to help grade 12 learners around Eastern Cape to apply for university admission, funding and also help them with their course work in cooperation with NGOs such as Sakhikamva and Vision4Women to name a few. She also works part-time as a tutor specializing in subjects like Mathematics, Life sciences and Physical sciences. In 2016, Ngoveni worked for a tech company called Code4CT as a facilitator, teaching grade 10 girls in Cape town how to code using programming languages such as HTML and CSS.

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2019 August 10: The dawn of a new era for Terra Dick

Text By Lindiwe Dhlamini

Photos by Andile Phewa


The 9thof August is one of the most important days in history; a day to commemorate women, the day is often filled with festivities and events in honor of the women who have fought for our liberation and those who continue to fight. On this day in 2019 Thembela “Terra” Dick was one of the people who made the day worth honoring with the opening of their first solo exhibition titled; THEMBELA. The show is produced by Muholi Productions and curated by Bajabulile Dhlamini in collaboration with ORMS Creative Space. The opening of THEMBELA was an honor of the fallen, a celebration of those who are still alive and a personal story of Terra Dick. A story only images can tell better than words and the images on show are telling that story better than any words could. For those who missed the opening, the show is opened until the 29 August 2019 at 56 Roeland Street,Cape Town.



From L-R: Leptie Phume, Lindiwe Dhlamini, Thembela ‘Terra’ Dick and Babalwa Tyabashe






Thembela Solo Exhibition190819 copy


Terra is a filmmaker and photographer who has been working tirelessly to find creative ways of telling their life story. Using various themes for this show; Pride, LossProtest and Self with an addition of Abstract where the journey begins with images that make you question the motive yet interest you to follow through with the story. As an artist; Terra has been through a lot of difficulties which were further exaggerated by their sexuality as a Black lesbian growing up in South Africa. When Terra was 16 years old, they were kicked out of home for being a lesbian forcing them to drop out of school at grade 11 to find ways to navigate and survive the world. Through hard work and dedication Terra has since went back to school and acquired multiple qualifications in filmmaking and photography. This was through the inspiration of Jo Menell and Richard Mills who were the first people who taught Terra how to use a camera while working to complete her late sister’s documentary as a young woman living with HIV/AIDS.

Terra eventually found the courage and a way to tell their own story using images and with the help of Professor/Sir Zanele Muholi who has been mentoring Terra’s photographical journey for over a decade now. The exhibition opening was a success despite a few glitches in the planning and execution of the show which is to be expected in a show that was planned in two weeks but, it turned out successfully. The hard work put in by the curator, Sancia Cilliers; a Print Consultant at ORMS and Terra Dick alongside others turned out wonderfully. There were some images printed on banners and two of the three banners have since been stolen as they were used as outside displays for the show.

The layout inside the gallery has since been moved around since the opening to ensure the coherence of the story when Terra is doing walkabouts. There have been more than 6 walkabouts done thus far and these include students, artists, general citizens and photography lecturers from University of Cape Town, ORMS School of Photography, Varsity College, College of Cape Town and so forth. Most of these lecturers have asked to bring their students to see the show. This has been an amazing response to Terra’s work which proves that your story is yours to tell because you tell it best. Social media and word of mouth have been the most powerful ways the show gained traction from outsiders and this has given Terra the opportunity to share their work with more people.

The positive comments from those who attended the opening were a further indication of the power and healing to anyone who engaged with Terra’s work. Brave became the word used by most which was exactly how this body of work confronts the viewers eye. Powerful, honest, bare, strong, healing, inspirational and brilliant were some of the words used by the attendees at the opening. Personally, I think the work is the beginning of a new era for Terra who has broken boundaries to be where they are today as a lesbian identifying artist in a field dominated by heterosexual men. Terra has and continues to teach us that where you come from does not matter it is where you are going that matters and for Terra higher and higher is where their journey goes.


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Posted in Photos by Andile Phewa, Solo exhibition by Terra Dick, Text by Lindiwe Dhlamini, Uncategorized | 2 Comments