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Friday, October 28, 2022


(Above: uMamakubusaphila (If Mama is Alive)

uMamakubusaphila (If Mama is Alive) by Sibusiso Duma is currently running in the Main Gallery of the KZNSA , showcasing his signature contemporary pointillist technique.

The body of work speaks to the unique bond shared between mother and child, and explores how the absence of this tender maternal presence impacts personal development, both as a child as well as later in life.

Duma is recognised for his use of familiar iconography such as the human figure and rural landscape in his narratives. There’s a consistent approach to his paintings, which despite their stark, bright and electric colours, rolling landscapes and hard shadows look in-depth at important and unresolved issues. Through his analysis of the rural environment, humour and satire prevail and this helps the viewer to understand present social conditions. The use of these personal iconographies and metaphors harvested from everyday life manifests a fine balance between fantasy and reality. In a career spanning more than two decades, his work has been typified by his treatment of the surface, subject matter, composition and the use of space and colour, which collectively create touches of mystery and intrigue.

“His treatment of surface, subject, space and colour is unique in that other issues are not stated directly but are alluded to, thus creating an element of intrigue and wonder” – Gabi Ngcobo, ‘Revisions’ 2006

Duma’s talent was originally noticed and nourished by the late Trevor Makhoba (1956 – 2003) through his Philange Art Project based in Umlazi. From 1994, Duma was under Makhoba’s tutelage and subsequently shared a stage with Makhoba and another former student, Welcome Danca. Together they held a number of exhibitions at the African Art Centre in Durban.

Following Makhoba’s death in 2003, Duma has continued to build on his own narrative. The influence of Makhoba is still visible, but this does more credit than harm. Since 2003, Duma’s paintings have been exhibited frequently including notable solo exhibitions at EBONY/CURATED, Stevenson, ABSA Gallery, Johannesburg and the AVA Gallery, Cape Town. His work is widely collected and held in public and private collections.

For more information or to enquire about purchasing artwork, contact

The KZNSA Gallery is situated at 166 Bulwer Road, Glenwood, in Durban. More information on 031 277 1705 or cell 082 220 0368 or visit