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Saturday, January 20, 2024



Just opened in the KZNSA Gallery’s Main and Mezzanine Gallery is Bazobuya... they are coming back, a group exhibition, curated by Lawrence Lemaoana.

‘Bazobuya’ references the musical group, the ‘Soul Brothers’ 1990 song of the same title, echoing the lament of children, mothers, wives of husbands who have left home due to the migrant labour system in South Africa. It is a Zulu phrase which translates to ‘they are coming back’ and is here used as an umbrella to speak to various issues concerning the socio-political navigations of black men in South Africa.

All five artists showcasing works in this exhibition are black males whose bodies of works focus foreground narratives from their marginalised communities. In each of the participants' projects they unpack stories from these communities which focus on gendered struggles and perspectives through various visual arts mediums.

‘Bazobuya’ fundamentally evolved from a private artist mentorship and support programme which culminated into an art exhibition and showcase as well as public talks and workshop programme.

Through the mentorship and access to artist studios of Lawrence Lemaoana and Mary Sibande, these five art projects by five emerging artists have been identified and nurtured.

This body of work was first exhibited by Occupying the Gallery at Gallery 1 in Keyes Art Mile Johannesburg as an outcome of the Occupying the Gallery project and now travels to KZNSA Gallery to new audiences in Durban. The motivation for having this exhibition travel is largely to connect the five artists and their thematic explorations to various communities across South Africa with overlapping lived experiences.

Artists: Bongani Ndlovu, Hoek Swaratlhe, Lusanda Ndita, Mlondi Magubane, Ngoma, KaMphahlele

Meet The Artists

Bongani Ndlovu (b.1998) is a South African photographer and visual artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Using the mediums of photography, performance, costume and staging, his work explores themes of representation, black masculinity and gender expression.

Hoek Swaratlhe (b.1986) is a South African photographer and visual artist born and based in Soweto, Johannesburg. His thematic interests centre around his community, its urban culture and the history that informs its socio-political landscape.

Mlondi Magubande (b.2000) is an emerging visual artist born and based in Soweto. His work explores the intersection of urban culture, gender and traditional cultural practices.

Lusanda Ndita is a visual artist based in Johannesburg. His work considers domestic archives of black South African families, specifically looking at photo albums as well as oral histories and identities. In 2017 Ndita completed the Advanced Programme in Photography (APP) at the Market Photo Workshop.

Ngoma KaMphahlele is a visual artist who utilises photography as a medium to explore various areas of interest including fashion, jazz, architecture, home and the sense of belonging.


Meet The Curator | Lawrence Lemaoana

Lawrence Lemaoana lived in the small mining town of Welkom before returning to Johannesburg to continue his studies. He went on to study for a Bachelor of Fine Art at the University of Johannesburg where he received his B-Tech Degree majoring in Fine Arts. Lemaoana is currently reading for a master's degree at the University of South Africa’s (UNISA) Art and Music Department.

Lemaoana is a junior lecturer Visual art at UNISA’s Art History, Visual arts & Musicology Department. Lawrence Lemaoana’s body of work has, as its departure point, a fascination with the role of the mass media in present-day South Africa.

At its roots in Lemaoana’s work, the relationship between the ‘People’ and the media is problematized as a relationship of representation and control, questioning who gets to control modes of representation; and who gets to represent those in control. The power of the media to act as a didactic tool or propagandistic weapon, and the power of the media to reveal and shape the psyche, or group consciousness of the People, is taken up in Lemaoana’s work with the artist’s trademark cynical satire.

The exhibition closes on February 4, 2024.

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