Zana Masombuka's London exhibit "Nges’rhodlweni'': A Portal for Black Joy

By Lindelwa Masuku

Zana 'Ndebele Superhero' Masombuka's upcoming London solo exhibition, "Nges’rhodlweni: A Portal for Black Joy," encapsulates the fusion of tradition and modernity through photography, film, sculpture, and performance. 

In an upcoming exhibition that resonates with profound cultural significance, artist Zana 'Ndebele Superhero' Masombuka is set to unveil her first London solo showcase, "Nges’rhodlweni: A Portal for Black Joy." 

Through a captivating fusion of photography, film, sculpture, and performance, Masombuka masterfully delves into the intricate tapestry of identity and culture. 

Zana Masombuka, Nges’rhodlweni: eBandla 1, 2018. Giclée print on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta 325 gsm paper, 84 x 56 cm.Edition of 8. © Zana Masombuka, John Baloy and Bontle Juku.

Drawing inspiration from her rural upbringing in South Africa's Ndebele homeland, her work is a compelling exploration of the individual's place within a wider community and the profound connection between tradition and contemporary expression.

At the heart of the exhibition lies the titular concept, "Nges’rhodlweni" — a space where art fosters community engagement, expression, and spiritual connection. 

Zana Masombuka, Nges’rhodlweni: Is’memo 4 (detail), 2023. Giclée print on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta 325 gsm paper, 56 x 84 cm. Edition of 8 plus 1 artist's proof. © Zana Masombuka. Photo by John Baloy and Bontle Juku.

This sacred space, reminiscent of Ndebele ceremonies, embodies the celebration of creative energy and the exchange of vital knowledge. 

Through her lens, Masombuka invites viewers to traverse a transformative journey, witnessing the vulnerability, healing, and joyful celebration inherent in her subjects' experiences. 

The exhibition 'Zana Masombuka: Nges'rhodlweni: A Portal for Black Joy' will open on Tuesday, 5th September October Gallery London United Kingdom

The juxtaposition of archival footage and contemporary shots serves as a bridge between tradition and modernity, encapsulating the essence of African heritage's timeless influence.

Masombuka's evocative sculptures, adorned with intricate beadwork inspired by Ndebele tradition, draw us deeper into her exploration of intergenerational knowledge and identity. 

Zana Masombuka, Proudly South African: Exploration of Identity 10, 2018. Edition of 10, Giclée print on Hahnemühle FineArt Baryta 325 gsm paper , 60.2 x 47.9 cm.

As her visual narratives intertwine with ancestral wisdom, they provoke contemplation on the vibrant interconnectedness of culture and the power of representation. 

The exhibition serves as a testament to the importance of reclaiming narratives and challenging preconceived notions, bridging cultural divides to engage an international audience in conversations about heritage, resilience, and the enduring spirit of African pride.

5 – 30 SEPTEMBER, 2023

October Gallery
United Kingdom_

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Zana Masombuka


London solo exhibition


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