Photo of Zemba Luzamba

Zemba Luzamba

b. 1973, Lubumbashi DRC. Lives in Cape Town

Since migrating to South Africa from the Congo, via Zambia, Zemba’s paintings have covered as much ground as he has travelled. Beginning with works that chronicle the hardships experienced by migrants, Zemba went on to produce vivid images of the recreational and leisure spaces occupied by these communities. Other works reflect on Congolese history, not just the acts of big men, but also as experienced by ordinary people. Power relations, between men and women and between social classes, often constitute a critical subtext in his paintings. Remarkable too are his paintings of people performing mundane rituals, existential moments that affirm the artist’s interest in the human condition.


Art Education

1993:Institut Technique d’Art Plastique (ITAP), DRC.
1994-1998: Diploma in Fine Art, Evelyn Hone College of Applied Art & Commerce, Lusaka.

Exhibitions (solo)

2014: Ebony, Cape
2013: La Sape, AVA, Cape Town
2005: Hope for Refugees, Roma, Italy
2004: Association for Visual Art (AVA) Cape Town.

Exhibitions (group)

2016: Beyond Binaries. Essence Festival, Durban
2015: Ebony, Cape Town
2013: Cape Town Art Fair. 1:54 Contemporary African Art, Frieze Art Fair, London. AVA, Cape Town.
2011: Art for Africa Auction, Sotheby’s, New York.
2008: Harare International Festival of Arts, Harare, National Gallery of Zimbabwe. Soul of Africa, Development Bank of South Africa, Johannesburg.
2007: africa south, Association for Visual Art (AVA), Cape Town. Blank Projects, Cape Town. Sanlam Gallery. Baxter Theatre, Cape Town.
2006: A Journey Together, Voyage Ensemble, Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town. Picasso and Africa, Alliance Francaise, Cape Town.
2005: Il Pezo Politico Dei Migranti, Santa Mostre Sangallo, Piacenza, Italy; War, Iziko SA Museum, Cape Town.
2003: Xenophobia, Alliance Francaise, Cape Town.
1996: P.E.L (Agricultural company art patron), Lusaka.
1995: Visual Art Council, Lusaka.


2010:Mario Pissarra “Zemba Luzamba: Migrant Perspectives” Critical Interventions
2005: South African Art Diary.


2009: Nandos, London. 2002: New Royal Hotel, Blantyre, Malawi.


Cultures Inc., California. Scalabrini House (Bassano Del Grappa). Nandos, London. Private collections: Italy, USA, South Africa.


It Is What It Is – Ebony Gallery, Cape Town 2015. Exhibition catalogue.



Migrant Perspectives: The Art of Zemba Luzamba – essay by Mario Pissarra


“Voyage Ensemble, A Journey Together” , Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town 2007. Exhibition booklet.


“Voyage Ensemble, A Journey Together” , Scalabrini Centre, Cape Town 2007. Exhibition booklet.


“Zemba Luzamba merges images with ideas”, CNN African voices, 2018