Nkoali Nawa

b. 1965, Goldfields, South Africa. Lives in Gugulethu, Cape Town
Nkoali Nawa started out as a gold mineworker, before moving into art-making. In doing so, he obtained a diploma and degree in fine art from Technikon Free State. His drawing and painting works depict the daily struggles of impoverished South African communities, the harsh working conditions of miners, as well as the intergenerational distress caused by the colonial structure of migrant labour systems. 

Art Education

2001: National Diploma, Fine Arts and B. Tech, Technikon Free State, Bloemfontein.

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2008: Space, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town.
2002: Close-Up, Greatmore Studios, Cape Town

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2020: Latitudes Art Fair Online, The Creative Block by Spuer Arts Trust, online.
2018: Rituals, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town; Bashu Uhuru Freedom Festival, Johannesburg.
2007: Group Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg.
2006: Group Exhibition, Everard Read Gallery, Johannesburg
2004: Heike Davies, Nkoali Nawa and Committee Work, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town.
2004: Exhibition, Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
2003: The Brett Kabbel Art Awards, Cape Town International Convention Centre
2003: Members' Exhibition, Association for Visual Arts (AVA), Cape Town
2003: Group Exhibition, SA National Gallery Annexe, Cape Town.
2002: South African International Trade Exhibition (SAITEX), Johannesburg.
2002: Group Exhibition, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg.
2002: Outdoor gallery (Billboard), Johannesburg.
2002: Group Exhitbition, Fordsburg artists studios, Johannesburg.
2001: Group Exhibition, DC art gallery, Cape Town.
2001: Group Exhibition, Spaza art gallery, Johannesburg.
1998: Annual student art exhibition, Central university of technology, Bloemfontein.
1995: Annual student art exhibition, Central university of technology, Bloemfontein.

Group Exhibitions (international)

2013: Our Daily Work/ Our Daily Lives, Michigan State University Museum (MSUM), East Lansing.
2006: L’atelier, Renault Show Room, Paris.
2004: The ID of South African Artists, Fortis Circus Theater, Scheveningen.

Artist Residency

2018: Nando's Creative Exchange, Cape Town.
2002: Bag Factory Visiting Artist, Johannesburg, & Greatmore Art Studios, Cape Town.


2003: National Finalist, The Brett Kebble Awards, Cape Town.


Murals: Mineworker Development Agency; National Union of Mineworkers South Africa (NUMSA); Coca-Cola South Africa.
Book illustrations and covers: Human Rights Media Centre; Keels Publisher.
Report Covers: Labour Research Service; Ditikini Investment Company annual&nbsp.
Artwork: Community House, Salt River.

Other Work

1996 – 2003: Art Lecturer and teacher, various schools and institutions, South Africa.