Daily ExclusiveEditors Pick

A Discourse About Visual Artistry, The Body of Works & Experiences W/ Muofhe Manavhela


So, for those that don’t know… Rotondwa Muofhe Manavhela is a luminary South African, Johannesburg based, vibrant 22-year old student at the Wits University and a multidisciplinary visual artist. Describing her as an adept and salient visual artist that is lethal with the paintbrush, litho printing and digital printing would be an understatement, however, Muofhe has a robust mind that allows her to express her thoughts, inspirations, emotions and feelings within her artistry to say the least. She uses her stimulating art to address numerous subject matters around social issues such as homosexuality, gender-based violence, and issues concerning body image to spark sundry discourses and bring these issues to light.

Prior to this point, I remember being asked by my Editor-in-Chief about who I wanted to conduct my first Daily Capsule exclusive interview with and I said “Muofhe Manavhela” with no hesitation… And if you know me quite well then you would know that she is my favourite creative being. Fast forward to the day I made my way to Wits to meet Muofhe and conduct the interview, I got lost but eventually found my way to her. This was my second physical interview and funny enough my other physical interview was at Goethe-Institut in Parkwood with Isaac Zavale, who is also a visual artist, but I digress…

This interview was very much unconventional as her lecturer walked in a few minutes into her answering the questions and I ended up learning about litho printing and the attributes you need to have to succeed in the visual arts field. Enjoy!

I know this may sound a bit cliché, but for the new audience and readers of The Daily Capsule who may not be familiar with you and your craft, how would you define/construe yourself in no more than five words?

Daring, Learning, Colourful, Vibrant and Adapting

So, how were you or who introduced you to visual arts?

I was introduced to art through school, in the Arts and Culture subject. I remember in Primary School, having to do a drawing which I drew really well, by the way, but was also shocked at myself at how good it was. That’s when I realised that it was something I could do, but my high school teacher was the one that developed my interest in visual artistry.

What are some of the complexities that come with being an emerging visual artist in South Africa in your opinion?

Hmm… I would say it’s hard finding people who are willing to teach, everyone is too scared to teach and maybe that’s because everyone is still trying to figure it out as well. It is also quite difficult to navigate the industry, there are different levels of how hard it is.


I just wanted something that was going to be the best of both worlds.

I know your primary inspirations in the visual arts industry are Lady Skollie and Andy Warhol, who just recently sold his “Marilyn Monroe” portrait for $195 million (about R3.1 billion), why those two?

I like Andy Warhol because of how he wanted to make art accessible. I like how his art catches your eye and how he is not like a master painter sitting down painting for hours, he just does something and he does it enough to catch your eye. I want to be able to do my own thing, but I want that quality that he has and I also want my art to be accessible. Visually, Lady Skollie is just like perfection, even the context of who she is, her being a South African artist, her style and her unshakable confidence.

In most of your bodies of work you are the muse, is that your way of adding your psychological/emotional features into your pieces?

Yes, because also one of the five words I used to construe myself was “learning” so I don’t want to learn too boldly, I want to learn safe… I actually want to learn boldly, but safe. Using myself and things I know to explore is my way of learning boldly but safe as an emerging artist. In the future, I do want to explore more and when I’m sure of myself as a woman… And when I have found myself as an artist, I do want to explore more and make art that will exude those chapters of my life.


Your artworks and black joy as well as black women living their best lives seems to go hand in hand, is that the sole message you want to convey to your audience and art collectors?

Yes, it is, but it is not the only message I want to convey so I don’t want to fully commit to this answer. There’s a body of work I have created that solely conveys that message but all in all I want to convey a variety of messages and emotions.

You recently showed your “Life of the Party” collection at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair alongside Bahati Simoens and Cinthia Mulanga as part of the Gang Gang exhibition and you also had a group exhibition titled “On the Edge” at Kalashnikovv Gallery, how were those two experiences for you?

Cape Town was nice, I learnt a lot. I feel like I went there and I came back a different person. That kind of experience teaches you a lot and creating the body of work was also a learning curve because I don’t think I would have made work like that before and I have never been bold enough. It was an experience that needed to happen. The Kalashnikovv Gallery group exhibition, I liked because it was happening in Braamfontein. It is always nice to see people and it was a nice local scenery to exhibit at.

When I have found myself as an artist, I do want to explore more and make art that will exude those chapters of my life

Acrylic, 2021

So, how is a day in a life of a young, black visual artist juggling an art career and University?

I wake up at 11 PM the day before, work (hopefully) on personal work, get ready for school, go to school, do school work as much as I can, and then get back home. That’s the cycle every day, It’s a lot, stressful and I feel like I don’t sleep sometimes. It feels like an adrenaline rush, It’s kinda exciting… I really want this degree and I really want that career.


We are both Venda and we both have creative careers, how hard was it for you to not only convince your parents but yourself as well to pursue arts, because I know it was not easy for me?

It was a fight. I started my institutional life in architecture and that was a more “dignified” career and the reason I went into it was because I was really good at it in school but also creative so I just wanted something that was going to be the best of both worlds. I still like it (architecture), but it wasn’t for me at the time, I feel like I firstly want to grow as an artist before I can grow as an architect or a person who understands space… My soul knew that it was time to let go, move on and my parents were understanding but confused…

Do you have new work coming out soon?

Yes, I have just recently started getting back. A lesson that I’m now learning is that being an artist is part working and part experiencing. The past few months have been weird, so allowing myself not to work and just absorb and learn has allowed me to now say I do have work coming and it’s going to be good work. It’s going to be thoughtful, careful, delicate and a sign of where I am in my life right now. The work will be coming soon.

Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

create and explore.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *