|Born in Eastwood, near Pretoria, on April, 5, 1948, Ezekiel Madiba is often referred to as Boycie. When his family settled at Walmanstal, near Pretoria, he attended secondary school at Lethabong.
Madiba was only fourteen when he started drawing and soon developed a love for wood carving. After completing his final exams, he moved to Ga-Rankua township, again near Pretoria. All his life Madiba has moved around, working in different places. After a string of jobs that had nothing to do with art, in 1971 that he decided to work as a full time artist, and moved to Mabupane township, also just outside Pretoria.
Continuing to live with his family in Mabupane, his family now included his wife and three children and his mother. While many other artists have enjoyed the warmth and support of their parents as they pursued their art, Madiba’s experience with his domineering mother was not a happy one. She was very critical about her son’s chosen career and his inability to fully support his family. Also, like many other black artists, Madiba had no studio of his own and had to work from home producing large sculptings and carvings.
Madiba was inspired by the works of several white artists, in particular Raymond Andrew’s woodcuts and from whom he received lessons. Madiba’s fellow black artists such as Isaac Nkoana, David Phoshoko and Eric Lubisi have remained close friends. In 1971 he met respected black socialite and artist, Jeff Mpakati. Mpakati paved the way for Madiba to exhibit his work in various embassies. The shows were a success and a financial boost for Madiba enabling him to better support his family and thus allowing him to focus on his work.
Though Madiba’s medium is woodcut, he has also explored mixed media, such as silkscreen printing combined with woodcuts. Madiba’s work portrays the lifestyle of black people in the townships. His work has some element of humour but is also influenced by Christian ethos.
Madiba’s work include The Musicians, 1979 (Woodcut), The Blues, 1979 (Woodcut), The Crucifix, 1979 (Woodcut), Isangoma, 1979, Woodcut, The Thinker, 1979 (Woodcut), Dancers, 1975 (Woodcut on Paper), Initiation School, 1974, Women, 1974 (Woodcut),
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Nelson Mandela Centenary Exhibition: Pretoria
Ifa Lethu has been implementing a vigorous exhibition and outreach programme nationally. To commemorate the Mandela Centenary, the Pretoria Art Museum has collaborated with the Ifa Lethu Foundation to launch he exhibition entitled “Nelson Mandela’s 100th birth anniversary/Resistance Art of the 1960’s until the 1980’s”. The exhibition runs at the Pretoria Art Museum until November 2018.
Australians Against Apartheid Exhibition: Cape Town
To commemorate the role of Australians against Apartheid, Ifa Lethu has collaborated with the Australian Alliance in the mounting of its exhibition entitled “Memories of Struggle: Australians Against Apartheid”. The exhibition opens in Cape Town in October 2018 at the Castle of Good Hope
Edward Maqwacha Miya is our featured artist (fashion designer) for this quarter. Edward has been fortunate to have participated in the Ifa Lethu Creative Entrepreneurship training and Mentoring programmes the Ditlabeng Municipality(Clarens) of the Free State Province in 2016-2017.
Ifa Lethu completed two further projects nationally in recent months. They included the Creative Entrepreneurial Project Phase 2 in Clarens, Free State and the Arts and Craft Beneficiation Project for the Cradle of Humankind (COH) World Heritage Site, the latter being the Foundation’s flagship project for 2016-2017.