X O L I L E    M T A K A T Y A

Click on the links below the thumbnails to view the full image with cataloguing
For more information on the artist, see below

Soul food


Long homecoming


The Note So Extreme


Township celebration


Untitled III

She is charming him to come home


Street theatre



Mtakatya was born on 30 April 1968 in Cape Town. He completed his education at Guguletu High School in 1986. An active member of the Cape Youth Congress he was detained in 1986. "I began scratching and drawing on the grey walls of the prison cell to relieve my frustration," says Mtakatya.

In 1987 he was able to attend drawing lessons at the Community Arts Project in Woodstock part time. He graduated in a course in media and continued to study the visual arts part time. His interest led him to complete the four-year study of Fine Arts at The Foundation School of Art and receive his Diploma in Fine Arts in 1993.

Since then he has been involved in community projects teaching children and adults in art and media workshops or participating as a practicing artist. In this capacity he taught screen-printing to unemployed mothers from the underprivileged areas such as Crossroads near Cape Town. He has assisted and convened workshops in the Boland and other rural areas organized by C.A.P. (Community Arts Project), the ANC and other progressive organizations in the Western Cape. Mtakatya established a successful studio workshop in Khayelitsha (Khaymep). He has also facilitated several fine art workshops for children and adults, (eg screen printing).

Quote from the program of his solo exhibition at the AVA: "Mtakatya's pastels portray an episodic sequence of daily experiences. Life is like street theatre, he says, with a lot of improvisation. Life is love, betrayal, is lust, and is colourful, he continues. One needs to look behind curtains and under the carpet! Then one will see the sequence of the episodes of life."

With his vibrant colour combinations, his well-developed draftmanship, his strong sense of line and his engaging African characters who are caught in typical local adventures, he harmonises the scenes in his work, filling them with warmth to feed his soul and build his inner strength.


2005   Part of the Group exhibition "Encompass" at the Cape Gallery
           A solo exhibition at the AVA entitled "Episodes"
2004   Wits university
2002   Thapong Workshop exhibition in Botswana
2001/2 Thupelo workshop exhibitions
2000   First solo exhibition (sponsored by AVA)
1999   The Annexe of SANG
           Agender 21 Mural Global in Germany
1997   Participated in a group exhibition held in the Robben Island Museum
1995   Manyano in Argentina
1994   Exhibited in a show entitled "Siyawela" exhibited in Birmingham and London, England
1991   Travelling exhibition at The Center for African Studies, U.C.T.
           The Royal Festival Hall in London
           The Aberdeen City Art Gallery
           The Bolton art gallery
1990   Mead Gallery University in Warwick
           Exhibited at the Museum for Modern Art in Oxford, England
           Group Show at Manenberg Peoples Centre
1995   Participated in a group show 'Manyano' with four other artists in Azul, Argentina
1993 - 4   Commissioned to paint a 14,66 x 8,23 m mural by the Nico Malan Opera Theatre addressing the issues of urbanization past and present
1993   Solo graduation show at The Foundation School of Art, Cape Town
1992   Exhibited in a group show at the Mayibuye Centre, University of Western Cape
1988   'Eye of an Artist' Guguletu
           "Art End Conscription" at Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Cape Town
           Took part in a four-man show in 'Augsburg International'
1987   C.A.P. One Day Group Show

He has collaborated with several artists such as Louis Jansen van Vuuren, Wiseman Zwane, Tamlin Blake, Velile Soha, Claudia Francia and Uta Gobbel Gross, amongst others. His work hangs in the public collections of SA Breweries, Nando's in London, Old Mutual, Niedersachsichs Bildunginitiativen Hanover, Germany and Spier. In 1993 he was commissioned by the Nico Malan Opera House ( now Artscape ) to paint a mural, addressing issues of urbinization. He has also worked in Germany for several months at a time, participating in workshops and painting murals there.

2012 All rights reserved. Origination by Di Conradie