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Tuesday, August 18, 2020


(“Amalahle”. Mixed media painting on paper by Sphephelo Mnguni, 2018)

During this lockdown, the KZNSA Gallery in Durban would like to introduce artists it has worked and collaborated with, in its new series: Meet the Artist. Have some fun with them, collect their art, and watch their Q&A videos on the Instagram and Facebook pages.

Artist Sphephelo Mgnuni is a name to follow. The KZNSA has showcased his work in exhibitions such as Ikhono LaseNatali, a collection commissioned by Professor Zanele Muholi, and Sasol New Signature's KZN Submission. He has had a hand in splashing the KZNSA wall with Mook Lion and K3V7 in 2018. Last year, Mgnuni travelled to Bremen, Germany, for an artist residency. Watch his Meet the Artist Q&A on our Instagram or Facebook.

Mnguni is a young visual contemporary artist from Umlazi Township, Durban. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Art at the Durban University of Technology in 2016. Mnguni has exhibited in galleries and is involved in the Durban street art scene, having done a number of murals in the city.

Mnguni’s work is an artistic exploration of the contemporary South African status quo, focusing on social classification, amongst other sociopolitical issues.

(Left: Sphephelo Mnguni)

Herewith the Q & A:

How do you know the KZNSA?

I used to go there a lot with my friends back in 2010/11. I used to also go there a lot when I was studying at DUT. Lecturer’s used to send us there to see exhibitions, and write reviews about them.

KZN Artists we should all be following and know about:

Although I feel like most people already know about them, but if you don’t know yet, look out for: WonderBuhle, Sthenjwa Luthuli, Lindani Nyandeni, Zinhle Khumalo (although she practices as a curator now, I hope she makes art again), another guy is Luyanda Zindela.

What is the best part about being an artist?

Having the freedom to be yourself, and doing what you want to do, and not having to call anyone your boss. Being an artist, as much as people call it self-employment, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle that I am grateful for. I wake up when I want to wake up, I do the kind of art that I want to do. In the old day's there were movements and manifestos, it’s a different time now. Contemporary art is about identity, and just expressing yourself as an individual. That’s one thing I appreciate about being an artist today, just having the ultimate freedom. Not having to worry about a 9-5.

Three albums you would never burn

The first album is definitely Robert Glasper, and the album is titled Black Radio. The second album it’s going to be Playboi Carti, and the album is titled Die Lit. The third album is going to be anything by Simphiwe Dana, I’ve always loved her music.

A little known fact about you?

I still watch cartoons! I love cartoons, especially when I sleep and I get a nightmare, I wake up and I turn my laptop on, and I watch cartoons. I like watching Peppa Pig, Adventure Time, Regular Show, Gumball, but Regular Show is my favourite one.

 What's the point of it all?

That's a big question, but also, I think it’s bigger than art, I think it’s about human contribution, and acknowledging our issues, acknowledging everything. I just want to be part of a team or part of the people who want to make a change, who will not be silent about the things they should be talking about. We live in a very strange world, there are a lot of things that are going on, and people are afraid of speaking about certain issues. For me, as an artist, and having independence, and the amount of freedom I have, I want to use art as a vehicle to communicate.

Just having physical freedom, spiritual freedom, financial freedom; just being alive and being acknowledged with the respect that everyone deserves.


The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood in Durban and can be contacted on 031 277 1705 or email:

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