Title: The Dusk and Dawn of Humanity (II) - The Kigali Genocide
Medium: Four colour lithograph
Size: 21" x 17"
Edition size: 40
This lithograph by Nhlanhla Xaba was drawn and proofed in November 2002. Xaba worked in collaboration with Mark Attwood and Leshoka Legate for two weeks, after which Xaba approved the prints. On 9 March 2003, before the prints were editioned, Xaba died tragically in a fire, which burned down his studio. In honour of his memory, the lithographs are available as unsigned editions.
Hand printed in a limited edition of 40 numbered impressions & 3 artist’s proofs.
The artist’s proofs were given to his three children, and profits from the sale of the prints will go to the Nhlanhla Xaba Family Trust.
Nhlanhla Xaba / The Dusk and Dawn of Humanity (II) - The Kigali Genocide
Between 1977 and 1979 Nhlanhla Xaba worked as an ordinary labourer at Jabula Milling Company in Springs and after raising enough money he went back to school to pursue his Matric studies, which he completed in 1981. As early as the seventies Xaba was aware of his artistic potential but opportunities at that time were limited. He was fortunate to have met Madi Phala, an artist and designer, who lived in Springs and who became his first mentor in art. For a period of three and half years, Nhlanhla Xaba and Madi Phala lived and worked together informally as practising artists.
During this time Xaba began to produce and exhibit work and in 1981 he decided to go to Rorke's Drift, a missionary arts and craft centre in KwaZulu Natal. Rorke's Drift was the main centre at which many black artists were granted an opportunity to study art, but unfortunately, this was the year during which the centre closed down. On returning to Gauteng, disillusioned, he decided to go back to industry and subsequently joined an egg container manufacturing company, where he worked as a labourer.
At the beginning of 1985, Xaba went back to KwaZulu Natal, to the Mangosuthu Technikon where he enrolled for Architectural Drafting studies. At this institution, Nhlanhla Xaba spent one year but could not proceed with his studies due to a lack of funds.
The desire to further his artistic endeavours led Xaba to leave his hometown to join the African Institute of Art at the Funda Centre in Diepkloof, Soweto in 1986. From here onwards, although the struggle continued, a new chapter in his life had begun. Together with other aspiring young artists, Nhlanhla Xaba found a home where, for the first time, he was introduced to a consistent and structured arts education programme which was initially linked to the Fine Arts Department of the University of South Africa and later to the Wits Fine Art and History of Art Departments for accreditation purposes.
Since then, opportunities opened up and Xaba participated in numerous local and international exhibitions. Together with Kim Berman, he founded The Artist Proof Studio where he worked as a teacher, mentor and inspiration to many young artists. At the time of his death, Xaba was in the process of completing his BA (FA) degree at the University of South Africa.