Inhlabathi Yase Africa (Touch African Soil)

01 June - 26 June 2010

Works celebrating South Africa and the 2010 World Cup.

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Mbhekeni Mbili was born 1975 in Umlazi Township. From a young age, drawing figures with a stick in the sand, he found he had a natural artistic ability. His teachers would complain that he was ignoring his studies, preferring to sketch, but one primary school teacher did recognize his ability and encourage him in his art.

In 2005, following encouragement from a customer at the petrol station where Mbili was working, he participated in a one-year art programme at the Bat Centre “to improve himself”.

In 2006 he entered the Absa L’atelier competition, his work was sent to Jhb and one work was sold.

In 2007 he was a finalist in the Nivea Start Art Awards.

In 2008 he attended the Centre for Fine art, Animation and Design to refine his cartoon and animation skills. In 2008 he had a show at KZNSA, “Soccer Vibe”, and sold nine of his works.

In 2009 he had a solo show at the KZNSA Gallery titled “All Eyes In African” where 90% of the work sold. On the strength of this he was commissioned to produce four paintings for the interior of the new Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban.