Durban Artist's
Photo Credit: Supplied

Turning fabric offcuts into incredible collages, Mondli Mbhele knows a thing or two about taking what’s discarded and making it special. Through the Durban artist’s work, he inspires cultural pride and conversations about what we discard in culture.


South Africa (28 August, 2023) – Mondli Mbhele is the artist behind ‘Ingoma Yothando’ —Song of Love’—a unique debut exhibition where fabric offcuts exchange their regular discarded status to become artworks and cornerstones of cultural pride. The Durban artist’s vision comes to life from what is generally seen as fabric waste, and in the process, a thought-provoking expression of what we value and why becomes front of mind.

But Mbhele’s idea of value also extends to very real societal underpinnings; especially when it comes to the youth of South Africa.

Hailing from Durban’s Cato Manor, Mbhele has nurtured his creativity to tell stories that, through their seeming disjointed nature, actually unite.

His creative vision is deeply rooted in community and cultural traditions (like dance scenes performed at weddings or harvest seasons) and how technology and social media threaten their preservation.

Ingoma Yothando is Mbhele’s exploration of transformation within South Africa’s youth; recalling special moments of cultural community, which makes the use of off-cut fabric even more fitting as the conversation around culture becomes a conversation around which parts of it are wasted.

Mbhele’s exhibition will feature at the Pretoria Art Museum from 7 September to 29 October and marks his first solo exhibition that will also coincide with the Sasol New Signatures 2023 exhibition; which the artist won last year.

Sources: Supplied
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About the Author

Ashleigh Nefdt is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Ashleigh's favourite stories have always seen the hidden hero (without the cape) come to the rescue. As a journalist, her labour of love is finding those everyday heroes and spotlighting their spark - especially those empowering women, social upliftment movers, sustainability shakers and creatives with hearts of gold. When she's not working on a story, she's dedicated to her canvas or appreciating Mother Nature.

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