Ntobeko Mjijwa

Ntobeko Mjijwa

Artist Statement

This body of work is based on a concept titled “Covered” which I started working on in 2010. Back then the concept’s focus was on death and how insurance companies use death to sell their business. “We cover you from death” is one of the lines I came across from one of the pamphlets that insurance companies use. However, now I am using the same concept to look at arrogance and ignorance on how as South Africans we deal with issues such as politics, race, the lust for power and greed. The way this body of work looks at these two words (arrogance and ignorance) is by pointing out the lack of empathy in our leaders towards the poor, the lack of accountability in using the taxpayers’ money to efficiently and effectively govern the country. Last but not least on how private companies benefit from the country while employees work hard in harsh conditions for less while not getting the recognition as the driving force behind the country’s economy.


Ntobeko Mjijwa was born in 1986 in Kynsna. His father taught him how to draw at an early age and during secondary school he started keeping sketch books. In 2007 he applied successfully for an internship with Art Training Initiation (ATI) and graduated at the end of that year. In 2008 he enrolled at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University to study fine arts in the Art and Design Department. In April 2013 he graduated with National Diploma in Fine Arts.
His work in the past has tackled the issue of death as a business and how insurance companies use death as a marketing tool.

In 2014 at the Warehouse Exhibition held in Cape Town, his body of work tackled the sanitation issue that had made media headlines throughout 2013.

Attained higher certificate in theology at George Whitefield College
National diploma (Painting), school of art and design – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU)
Apprenticeship at Art Training Initiation (ATI) in ceramics at the end of the year I was awarded an NQF Level 4 certificate
Attained senior certificated at Ithembelihle Comprehensive School
Painted the mural for Route 67 at the ArtEC gallery
Worked at ArtEC hanging paintings for the opening of the Athenaeum art gallery
Worked for Artworks for Youth organization, teaching drawing at Joe Slovo primary school

Commissioned to Paint cartoon characters in a Children’s ward in Mercantile Hospital
Collection exhibition with Music, Art and Design Society (M.A.D) in an exhibition, titled “Boxes to Mozambique” at Art and Design Department (NMMU)
One of the artists who painted the mural for Route 67 at ArtEC gallery
Designed one of the lights for Route 67 at the Donkin Park
Collection exhibition through Basement project at French Alliance
Painted a mural at Helen vale for Disability Awareness Week, working with NMMU Disability Unit
One of the artists who painted the Raga Bolo mural in Zwide Stadium, sponsored by SABC and Smirnoff
One of the artists who was Commissioned to paint cartoon characters in a children’s ward in Dora Nginza Hospital

Exhibited at Galarie Noko gallery (Port Elizabeth)
Exhibited at Absa L'Atelier Art Competition at the Art and Design Department (NMMU)
Exhibiting at SOTA (State of The Art Gallery) website in Cape Town
Exhibited in the Sanitation Exhibition at the Warehouse Foundation in Cape Town
Exhibited in final year graduation exhibition at the Art and Design Department (NMMU)
Exhibited at Absa L'Atelier Art Competition at the Art and Design Department (NMMU)

Jam that session visual arts. “Interviewed by Creative Nestlings” www.creativenestlings.com
Nicky Willemse. “Mr Death makes appearance in art” Weekend Post. Nov 24, 2012, p8