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Born 30th April 1968 in Cape Town.

Mtakatya 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.


Dream now, dream not, the annual Winter Solstice Exhibition, The Cape Gallery

The Rain Maker, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Review, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Along the way, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Telling our story; group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Threshold, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Siyakubona, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Turn Around Time, annual Winter Solstice exhibition at The Cape Gallery
Social Synergy, group exhibition at The Cape Gallery

Part of the Group Solstice Exhibition "Continuum" at the Cape Gallery

Part of the Group exhibition “Encompass” at the Cape Gallery
A solo exhibition at the AVA entitled “Episodes”


Wits university


Thapong Workshop exhibition in Botswana

2001 and 2002

Thupelo workshop exhibitions


First solo exhibition (sponsored by AVA)


the Annexe of SANG
Agender 21 Mural Global in Germany


Participated in a group exhibition held in the Robben Island Museum.


Manyano in Argentina


Exhibited in a show entitled "Siyawela" exhibited in Birmingham and London, England.


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


Mead Gallery University in Warwick
Exhibited at the Museum for Modern Art in Oxford, England.
Group Show at Manenberg Peoples Centre.


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.


Solo graduation show at The Foundation School of Art, Cape Town.


Exhibited in a group show at the Mayibuye Centre, U.W.C.(University of Western Cape.)


‘Eye of an Artist' Guguletu.
' “Art End Conscription" at Michaelis School of Fine Art, U.C.T. (University of Cape Town)
Took part in a four-man show in 'Augsburg International'


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.

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Title: Tapestries of Positivities
Size: 70 x 100 cm
Media: Pastel
ID: 06445
Price: R 22 000 Framed

The ritual and fetish figures often portrayed in Xolile Mtakatya's works are not always used for their original symbolic significance, but rather for their inherent beauty and to elicit an emotional response in the viewer. These objects serve as modern-day metaphors in their efforts to facilitate social change among the diverse cultures globally.

source: January 2002 Art News that is edited by Jean Campbell.
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