Tawanda MuAfrika _Studios

I am an Afriken and I go by ‘Tawanda ‘FromWakanda’ Mhandu’ ThiImhotepienGarveyait. Or TawandaMuAfrika, TawandaMuKemet, Thesandpoet, Thebrownman etc.  

My colonial name on my passport is McDonald, but the need to decolonaise my mind begs me need to identify with my Afriken self and project my Afriken essence to the world hence my identifying with my Afriken name ‘TawandaMuAfrika.’ 

I'm a multi-dimensional Afriken Artist born in a part of Afrika called Zimbabwe. I'm largely into visual art but I do have musical and film making roots.  

On the visual arts side, I do art in a variety of media, painting in oils, Acrylic, Pastels, smoke, watercolour etc. I also do sculpture in metal, stone, and mixed media. And I'm into film making, animation, writing and story telling.  

2011 I attended the Pima workshop at Polokwane Art Gallery co-hosted by LACA (Limpopo Arts and culture Association.) under Arlette Franks. 

I also attended a Vansa annual stakeholder conference workshop through laca in Joburg.

Performance art has been something that I have grown a passion for, I mostly do it in the form of live sand art performance.  

We started a musical -visual synthesis based collaborative 'band' called Stone Aged Souls with American born 'Mosotho' multi instrumentalist artist- Joel Karabo Elliott, "Jke". We have performed at various festivals and venues around South Africa.  

Stone Aged Souls has however grown into a musical ensemble that features alternating artists, the likes of, Nono Nkoane , Msaki , Naftali , Stompie selibe , Dennias Mashegwane , Nkoto Malebye, Nelius Zeak Nortje ,Black South Easter , Ntando Basslyn, Nahtyah Baht Ammi, Lerato-Rato Themba Kuzwayo, Sibusile Xaba, Chris J Mocke etc 

In July 26, 2013 we took part in the Fete de la musique annual music and art festival in Melville Joburg, after our band won the annual tour in which the French embassy sponsors one band annually to tour around Southern Africa. We performed in Pretoria at the Alliance France offices and events venue, Lesotho, Port Elizabeth at the Little Theatre etc. 

In 2010 I took part in the Laca exhibition in Soweto under Arlette Franks. 

2011 working with Denise Tooley of Byatladi youth centre (A community development project under Village tourism Trust), we ran art school programmes through Art classes in rural village schools around Haenetsburg for about two to three years. 

In 2012 we produced the Shindig magazine, CD and Dvd Arts publication as a collective of Limpopo artists in collaboration with Village tourism trust under Mike Gardener, in Haenetsburg, Limpopo. http://www.shindigawe.com/the-shindig-is The circle of visual and word artists initially forming ShiИdig Awé! Are based in Limpopo province in South Africa, but our origins form a rainbow-like diversity of racial, cultural and national backgrounds. We came together out of a desire to conceive fresh trans-artistic collaborations, break out of the box of typical, market-driven artistic endeavours, and generate new platforms for performance in an age where truly artistic, authentic venues are often hard to come by. ShiИdig Awé! Was launched in September 2011 with a grand musical-visual experience called “Pondering The Human Journey” in the forests near Haenertsburg and has now released a trans-artistic multi-media publication called HAVE WE PUT OUT THE FIRE?. ShiИdig Awé!. 

In 2013-4 I took part in the Limpopo annual local artists exhibition at the Polokwane Art Gallery. I exhibited alongside artists like Mr Avashoni Mainganye, Wayne Barker of the superboring movement, Channel Badenhaust, Louis Van Tonder, Amos Latsoalo, Lucky Frans Poko etc 

From 2011 to 2013 I was involved in an international award winning research project called 'The anecdote cycle' working with the university of Limpopo Turflop campus. I did facilitation and artistic rendering of community research archetypal illustrations for academic publication in the international research university academic journals. 

2013 I worked a lot at Africa Freedom Station in Wesdene Joburg, I did a lot of collaborations with great Jazz artists the likes of Bra Herbie Tsoaedi, Nduduzo Makhathini, etc. I however worked a lot with Malcom Jiani and the trio. We did a lot of transcendental Jazz meditative astral travelling... I can say fo sho that Jazz saved my life...   

Last year 2017 I spent largely in Zimbabwe doing stone sculpture and marimba music. 

I came back in September 2017 where we performed a week long run of the play 'Song of Nongoma' at the state theatre in Pretoria. In the previous year 2016 we performed two separate week long runs of the same play 'Song of Nongoma ' at the Soweto theatre. Featured in this play are artists the likes of the 'Jazz Master' Malcom Jiani, Mpho Molikeng, Marcus Wyatt, Sebone Bzorobzarabza Rangata, Ayanda Nhlangothi, Sandile Makhoba, Tshepo 'Budzito' Seagiso. Song of Nongoma is a tale of an African queen told through musical instruments inherited from the gods for future generations. Written and directed by Dr Steve Kwena Mokwena and Dr Kgafela oa Magogodi. These two combined, produced a composition of jazz featuring drama, poetry and film for theatre. 

Song of Nongoma is a musical that tells a story of a music goddess, Nongoma and her battle with Nagai, the evil god of greed and hate. Nagai’s soul thieves go head to head against Nongoma’s sound warriors in this otherworldly story about life and music inspired by the magical writings of Isanusi (high sangoma) Credo Mutwa. Song of Nongoma is a free jazz operetta and a futuristic fable about the origins, death and rebirth of true music.    

This year we did a short animation film called 'The forgotten plateau of the elephant' featuring artists the likes of Joel Karabo Elliott, Dennias Mashegwane, Nkoto Malebye, Lerato-Rato Themba Kuzwayo, supported by Stompie Selibe of Broken Chords Studio. This short animation film was done using sandart whose link follows below. I call this form of animation-sandimation (sand animation). 

You will find other videos of my work in this Youtube account that contains the above videohttps://m.youtube.com/channel/UCaFqBtAJP_qRyp11Y54TYLQ

For more of my work on my Instagram page, please follow this link.

And this site shows you what we have done as Stone Aged Souls Artists' collaboration 

Since 2019, I have largely been doing wall murals around Limpopo, you will be able to see most of these works on my YouTube channel and my Instagram account the handle bein‘Tawandamuafrika _studios’.  

2021 in collaboration with 'The Brother Moves On, Mandla Mlangeni, The great South African poet Lesego Rampolokeng, Soweto Choir etc.’ We performed at ‘The National Arts Festival’. 

I moved into August House collaborating with Mbongeni Fakudze. 

This year I moved into a new studio at ‘Asisebenze Art Atelier' in Joburg where I'm currently based. Earlier this year (2022) we exhibited at the annual  ‘Turbine Art Fair’ in Joburg.  

I collaborated with Vivien Kohler through VivienKohlerStudios located at August House. I waz part of the production team for Vivien Kohler’s successful exhibition at gallery Momo titled, ’This too shall come to pass'. 

Then  I was also involved in the process of producing artworks still in collaboration with Vivien Kohler for the ‘Joburg Art Fair ‘ exhibition.

Nationality: Zimbabwean
Residence: Asisebenze Art Atelier
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