About the Book
This is a special catalogue in response to the brilliant and moving exhibition, Imbhali yo Imfazi/ Legend of Woman, by artist and poet, Mazwi Mdima. The work of Mazwi Mdima is by someone who has been pre-occupied with the challenges of gender based violence for more than 15 years. The work is influenced by both personal tragedy and the historic and social conditions that continue to shape life and gender relations and relationships in South Africa.
About the Author
Mazwi Mdima is a veteran artist and sculptor. He worked for the City Council of Johannesburg from 1969 to 1980, when he was fired for leading a ‘wild-cat strike’ with other black workers. This led him to become a trade unionist, involved in the formation of the United Democratic Front, SAMWU, SARHWU and other unions. Mdima had to stop his trade unionism because of pressure and harassment from the apartheid security police, who wanted him to inform on his labour activist comrades.
After a short time, Mdima enroled at Khanya College, though over the average student age. After this, Mdima spent time in Canada, to study for a Bachelor of Arts degree. Unfortunately, he was unable to complete his studies and returned to South Africa. He then was able to get a job from an old friend at a cultural organisation that he helped found. It was here, as a site-manager, that Mdima began wood carving.