Thami Kiti

b. 1968, Machibini, Eastern Cape, South Africa; lives in Khayelitsha.

Thami Kiti moved to the informal settlement of Crossroads in the early 1980s, and presently lives in Khayelitsha. Kiti learned to carve at the Community Arts Project. His skilful carvings draw on his rural upbringing and Xhosa identity, and express deep respect for the natural environment and the medium of wood itself.

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From the Against the Grain catalogue:

"Thami Kiti's works draw directly on his Xhosa culture, in particular, [the] frequently revisited theme of sacrifice that is associated with most significant ceremonies that mark rites of passage, such as initiation, birth, marriage and death. His strong interest in three-dimensional form and narrative is best seen in references to the [hybrid] female forms that he calls "goat women"... Kiti's "goat women" capture a transformative, liminal moment [that] is accentuated through the representation of movement...The [inclusion] of hybrid figures in Cries of Crossroads introduces the use of animal as metaphor for the human condition, whereas the dramatic interplay between goat and woman in several works [symbolizes] the interdependence between human and animal beings. In Kiti's animal sculptures this inter-relationship is more ambiguously handled..."

- Mario Pissarra.


2018: ASAI Print Access Workshop, Michaelis School of Fine Art, Cape Town.
c. 1986 - 1995:  Part-time courses, Community Arts Project, Cape Town.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2017: Innibos Laeveld Nasionale Kunstefees craft competition, Mbombela.
2013-14: Against the Grain, Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town; Sanlam art Gallery, Cape Town.
2005: Encompass, Cape Gallery, Cape Town.
2001: Homecoming, Gug’Sthebe, Langa, Cape Town.
1997: Shadows of Robben Island, Robben Island, Cape Town.
1995: Thami Kiti, Wanini Hill Group Show, Irma Stern Museum, Cape Town.
1994: The Loft, Cape Town.
1994: Idasa Gallery, Cape Town.
1994: Wood panels, Association for Visual Arts Gallery, Cape Town.
1992: Made in Wood: work from the Western Cape, South African National Gallery, Cape Town.
1991: Sculptors of the Western Cape (organized by Andrew Steyn and Mario Sickle), Stellenbosch; Centre for African Studies, University of Cape Town.
1990: Ricky Dyaloyi, Billy Mandindi, Wanini Hill, Thami Kiti Group Show, Joseph Stone, Athlone, Cape Town.
1990: Vuyisane Mgijima, Timothy Mafenuka and Xolile Mtakatya, Thami Kiti Group Show, Cape of Good Hope Castle, Cape Town (with ).
c. 1986 – 1993: Annual Exhibitions, Community Arts Project, Cape Town.


University of the Western Cape (Community Arts Project Collection).
Private collections in South Africa, United States and Europe, notably the Ronnie Levitan Estate, Cape Town.


2013: Mario Pissarra, Against the Grain, Africa South Arts I,nitiative (ASAI) Cape Town


2017: First prize, Innibos Laeveld Nasionale Kunstefees craft competition, Mbombela, South Africa.


2008 - 2011: Assistant puppet maker, Handspring Puppet Company.  

1996: Thapong International Artists Workshop, Gaborone, Botswana.