AUTHENTIC SOUTH AFRICAN TOWNSHIP ART
DESIGNED, PRODUCED AND ON DISPLAY
IN KHAYELITSHA, CAPE TOWN
Moving to Cape Town in 1987 from a little village near Willowville in Eastern Cape, Mgadi struggled to find stable and permanent employment. He chose to attend an art class in 2000, despite being short of funds to purchase the necessary paint & canvas that was required.
Battling on and wishing to show what the environment in the huge township of Khayelitsha looked like to his mother living in the tiny village back in Eastern Cape, he came up with the idea of using recycled material - cardboard, wood, paper, cans and sand - to create 3D scenes of the township. He went to the post office to package the parcel to be sent to the Eastern Cape. When he took it to the postmaster, he offered to purchase the artwork from him... and that is how the 3D shack picture was born.
Almost instantly, his technique attracted attention, leading other artists to copy his work - some of which you may now find for sale in shops and stands around Cape Town.
Besides the township scenes that have made him famous, Mgadi's latest inspiration depicts the detention centre and narrow view from Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island.
Besides the craft center in Khayelitsha, his artwork is displayed in art galleries around Cape Town.
Mgadi's newest project is to share his talent with schoolchildren in a modest, but well structured and funded after-school art class for children aged 7 to 15, giving them the opportunity to learn a craft whilst keeping them safely off the streets.