Mbongeni's body of work  focuses on the contemporary 
African women, their beauty, their pride, their
unique stance but also addresses issues that women
face in a society that presently undergoes a roller-
coaster ride of a transition.
Mbongeni Fakudze lives and works from his studio in
Johannesburg, South Africa.
His great strength lies in the understanding of the 
ways in which objects and images impress upon us via
essences of colour, shape and texture and how these
affect us deeply.


Mbongeni Fakudze was born in Mbabane, Swaziland in 1982. He studied at Sifundzani primary school and then attended Waterford Kamhlaba UWCSA. He completed a fine arts course through the University of South Africa, Pretoria. He now lives between Johannesburg, South Africa and Swaziland.


My art explores the concept of solidity versus fluidity versus gaseousness. I have always seen the world through the microscopic eye of an atomic physicist and simultaneously the cosmic eye of an astrophysicist

Up Close

His cultural identity combines strong attachments to the country of his birth, his Rastafarian believes and to his adopted home, a hybrid identity that is reflected in his work.

Defying definitions of genre to re-imagine the nature of what a portrait can be, Mbongeni Fakudze introduces us to his bountiful fluid concept of fine art portraiture. He is celebrated for his luminous paintings which balance form with free, vigorous brushwork and vibrant colour.

The faces in Mbongeni’s paintings are charged with content. Bringing to mind poles of rational male intellect and feminine sensitivity, the androgynous women in these paintings reflect the full range of emotions as they play out in the human drama and appear to be based on a theatrical exaggeration. The construction of identity and dispersal thereof are rendered through powerful, nearly threatening brush strokes that create and destabilise at the same time, underlining the impermanence of being. Fakudze’s use of contradicting colour combinations highlight the inner tensions of human existence, emotions and thought processes, edging towards abandonment.

Inviting prolonged examination, his paintings repay with intimate moments that shift and grow with each viewing. This is one possible, visual journey through Mbongeni’s art, during which we might dwell on irresistible shapes and unique lines that seem to be so much more his signature than the name at the bottom of the work. Variations of touch, pressure, colour and tone, alert us to his preferred medium of paint as figures appear and atmosphere is created.

His great strength lies in the understanding of the ways in which objects and images impress upon us via essences of colour, shape and texture and how these essences affect us as deeply as the physical form to which they are ordinarily attached. The paintings are thus held in an innovative balance between a focus on form and the endless associativity they inspire.


Posted from SAFFCA (Southern African Association for Contemporary Art)

The Heads by Mbongeni Fakudze

The portrait of Nompumelelo Vuyiswa Tshabalala was inspired by a walk around the Heads in Knysna. The title is therefore “The Heads”. If one looks at the picture Mbongeni Fakudze published that day on Instagram and Facebook , it makes total sense. The portrait of Nompumelelo has been fertilised by their sights in this magical place where earth and water meet. Furthermore this is the exact meeting place where the gentle waters of the lagoon are supposed to suddenly be engulfed by the rhythmic sustainability of the tides. The rocks, just like simple vigils, keep an eye on the choreography. They might be called to the universal court as the witnesses of this ritual’s punctuality.

The portrait contains undoubtedly some of the energy generated by the moon’s dance. Thank you Mbongeni. Welcome in the SAFFCA Collection. ..

Exhibitions at ODA

‘Impermanence of Being’

solo exhibition

23 Dec 2017 to 25 Jan 2018

‘Focus On Women’


Aug 2017


solo exhibition,

Feb 2017




Exhibition Catalogues | solo shows


Previous exhibitions

Vision Statement

“Our ethos is consistent: promote this generation of artists from the African continent, nurture talent & surprise collectors by innovative exhibitions, unprecedented professionality and quality.”

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ODA Gallery
42 Huguenot Street
Western Cape, South Africa

+27 837743603

Viewing times
Mon - Sat | 09:00 - 17:15
Sun | 09:00 - 17:00