01 Sep ISPILI Podcasts EP04
w/ Siyabonga Ngaki
For the fourth episode of ISPILI Podcasts, we chat with King William’s town born visual storyteller and sculptor Siyabonga Ngaki about his work, the use of power and its effects on the social fabric of Post-Apartheid South Africa (POSTASA), the importance of lineage and ancestry, as well as the important and urgent need find ways to preserve and transmit our symbolic languages and cosmologies for the possible future.
Watch a featured episode on Siyabonga in “INGUQU” on ISPILI Series.
My name is Siyabonga Khaka Ngaki, I was born in 1989 in Upper Mngqesha Location, a village situated
close to King William’s Town in the Eastern Cape. I am a Fine Artist who has always been fascinated by
hand-made objects and the creative process in general. Most times drawing references from his own
father’s drawings and improved my skill from drawing newspaper cartoon and animated characters.
Pursuing a career wasn’t something I aspired to as a child up until I was in my teens in high school. After
Matric I then made conscious decision to pursue art as a career as I became aware of the opportunities
that can be derived from pursuing a career in the arts.
My works draw from the inherent values of tradition, customs, and of a people who respect culture. This
influences my choice of subject matter, making conscious contrast of the way things are done today and
the way they used to be thus drawing analogies between the present and previous historical contexts,
and critically questioning the grappling complexities, contradictions, tensions in Post- Apartheid South
African society through metaphoric and symbolic meaning.
I graduated from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University for Diploma and B-tech studies in fine arts
in which I majored in Printmaking/ illustration. In 2017 i was part of the PPC regional selection judges.I
have selected 4 times for the absa atelier top 100 artists since 2011 and also twice selected for the Sasol
new signatures top 100 of 2014 and 2016.
I took part in the the NMMU contemporary arts exhibition in 2011 and some exhibitions that followed I
assisted with 2nd year and third year drawing classes at NMMU in 2014. in 2015-2018 have been
working as a gallery intern at the Nelson Mandela University Art Gallery and have since been taking part
in exhibitions happening in Port Elizabeth.
I attempt to question situations and developments in our communities with images that tell stories and
evoke sentiments toward or against current events in our time.