Xolani Hopewell Qwabe
I was born in Empangeni Kwa-Dlangezwa and lived in different places within KZN Province. I completed my matric at Qhakaza High School in Empangeni, Vulindlela Township 2002. Throughout my schooling I did not receive any art training.
I entered my first art competition, the OMO Art Challenge, when I was in matric. It was a national art competition and I was awarded first prize.
I obtained my National Diploma in 2012 from Durban University of Technology (DUT) where I believed I would be able to equip myself with much needed skills for the art industry.
I assisted Mr. Dermot Skully in visual art classes in Thembisa Township, Ekurhuleni Metropolitan (Gauteng Province) in 2007. In the same year I was selected for Ekurhuleni mural project in Coen Scoltz Recreational Centre. I moved back to my home town and assisted in Visual Art at the University of Zululand from 2008 – 2009 at the Centre for Creative Arts department where I was exposed and participated in theatre for stage acting and props designing.
I have exhibited with group at the Durban Art Gallery in the exhibition titled “IZIKHWEPHA ZETHU” in 2011. I have also exhibited my work in an expo organised by Kizo Art Gallery at Gateway shopping complex in 2010 where I was awarded the best art display under the name I used, “SURREALIST”.
In 2005 I exhibited as part of a student group in a DUT Art Gallery exhibition titled “AMANDLA OKUQALA”.
I have also trained underprivileged youth from Khula Arts Centre in Richards Bay under Mr. Bhekani Thabede the centre’s managing director. I have trained and facilitated more youth from Northern Region districts with the department of Arts and Culture.
I have branded War Rooms in different districts as part of War Room Intervention programme. I have trained inmates for Visual Art and T-shirts Silk screen printing from different Correctional Services Centres in KZN.
The last group exhibition I had was in the Empangeni Museum and Art Gallery in 2014.