Zwelidumile Geelboi Mgxaji Mslaba Dumile /‘Goya of the townships’
: aliases Mslaba Dumile; Zwelidumile Mxgasi Dumile; Dumile Feni; Dumile Feni; Mhlaba Zwelidumile Mgxaji Feni; Mhlaba Dumile Feni; Mhlaba Zwelidumile Mxgasi Feni; Mslaba Dumile Geelboi Mgxaji Feni; Zwelidumile Geelboi Mgxaji Mslaba Feni
Country: South Africa
Style: Sculpture, Prints, Contemporary, Fine Art
Medium: sculptor and printmaker, Ink, Conte, Charcoal,
Fun Fact: In 1963 and 1964, while undergoing treatment for tuberculosis, he was given some art materials and began his drawing career in earnest. Like many black South African artists from the late 1950s, Dumile had to negotiate the laws of apartheid that made his presence as a self-employed artist in the white city an offence. Dumile described himself as having never received any ‘real’ tuition and talked of artists learning from one another. Dumile was ‘discovered’ by Madame Haenggi, an art dealer who promoted his early work.
ONE DAY I WAS in the Township with this driver and we went past a line of men who were all handcuffed. I don’t know what for, maybe for having no pass or something. Anyway the driver said, ‘Why don’t you ever draw things like that?’
I didn’t know what to say. Then just when I was still thinking, a funeral for a child came past. A funeral on a Monday morning. You know, all the people in black on a lorry. And as the funeral went past those men in handcuffs, those men watched it go past, and those with hats took off their hats.
I said to the guy I was with, ‘That’s what I want to draw!’
1. From the Nina Series
2. African Guernica
3. For the Child
7. Repression Art