By Edward Tsumele
Soweto born, Johannesburg based artist Themba Khumalo was yesterday, November 30, declared Artist of the Month by the Southern Africa Foundation for Contemporary Art, (Saffca), making him the 2020 last artist honoured by the foundation for his artistic practice and expression. The foundation this year has honoured quite a number of artists from South Africa, and Khumalo joins that prestigious list of those who have been given this recognition this year. Khumalo is Artist of the Month for November.
Khumalo, who is a product of Artist Proof studio training in Johannesburg, has over the past 10 years participated in 20 group exhibitions and 10 art fairs, making him a significant voice on the South African visual art landscape. He is part of a young generation of South African artists who are building a solid and bold narrative about current contemporary issues in southern Africa.
For example, his current artistic endeavour deals boldly with an often tense and emotional issue of land dispossession in South Africa that saw 87 percent of the population, blacks, apportioned 13 percent of poor land in the countryside while the remaining population, constituting 13 percent of the population, whites unfairly apportioned 87 percent of rich and arable land through the 1913 Land Act enacted by the government of the time.
The land issue, still a largely unresolved issue even in a free , democratic South Africa was at the centre of the liberation struggle in South Africa that saw many joined the armed struggle to resolve the issue. In fact the land issue was the rallying point for the struggle for liberation on the whole continent as people fought colonial powers to unshackle themselves from oppression that involved large dispossession for indigenous populations of Africa.
With this award, this award a selection of Khumalo’s works is made available for sale to collectors.