Makondelela Tshoambea

Makondelela Tshoambea is a versatile painter who works in oils, acrylics and watercolours. The use of colour and line, seem at first glimpse to be heavily influenced by the likes of Nelson Makamo and Cheri Samba as they have explored similar contemporary issues of black livelihood. Makondelela’s work depicts the plight of “Black Tax” and how difficult it is to maintain a level of fulfilment both from an academic and personal point of view. The sequence of artworks represent the life cycle which involves parents/guardians having unrealistic expectations for support to be returned when their need for assistance (financial or otherwise) develops in the succeeding years. Drawing upon his experience of being a young adult, his work visually represents the role that the family traditions and expectations play in an individual’s life choices based on contributing to Ubuntu/social capital that he is currently experiencing as a young adult in South Africa in regards to the sociology. The layers Makondelela’s creates in his paintings are intended to bring the layers of black tax to life and textures are present on the canvas. By working across multiple pieces at one time, documenting and recording his experiences, the social mobility as it did not allow most capable and hardworking individuals to succeed irrespective of their background. Makondelela’s memory and emotional responses to the subject means that what lies beneath the stigma behind black tax from the financial obligation especially focusing on the trials and tribulations of social capital. His work is an attempt to close the inequality gap and social conditioning that the South African government applied concept of meritocratic mobility in the form of affirmative action in order to build the black middle class. Individual family traditions and expectations play a role in the artist’s background.

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