Mandla Mabila

b. 1969, Barberton, Mpumalanga; d. 2012.

Mandla Mabila’s allegorical self-portraits drew from childhood experiences and memories, and raised issues around disability.

Mandla MabiliaBringing up Baby: Artists survey the reproductive body. Terry Kurgan. 1998


Arts Education

1993 - 1997: Bachelor of Art (BA), Fine Art, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Solo Exhibitions (South Africa)

2008: Mentors of excellence, Disability Lifestyle Expo, Nasrec, Johannesburg.
2001: From where I’m sitting, Standard Bank Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
2000: Brushstrokes, Bill Ainslie Gallery, Johannesburg.

Group Exhibitions (South Africa)

2007: Soul of Africa, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Johannesburg.
2006: Turn the table, ArtSpace, Johannesburg.
2006: Traditional values – Innovative ideas, Rand Merchant Bank, Johannesburg.
2006: Artists in conversation, Wits Art Galleries, Johannesburg.
2005: Artists in conversation, Pretoria Art Museum, Pretoria.
2002: Beyond barriers, Johannesburg Art Gallery, Johannesburg.
2002: Perceptions, ArtSpace, Johannesburg.
2001: Friends of the Standard Bank Gallery, Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.
2000: Weft & Warp, Johannesburg Civic Art Gallery, Johannesburg. 2000: Artichoke, Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg.
2000: Mnemosyne, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2000: Disability Renaissance, (with Tommy Motswai and Elvis Ntombela), BAT Centre, Durban.
2000: Visions of the future – World’s largest canvas interactive exhibition participation, Johannesburg Civic Art Gallery, Johannesburg. 2000: Transgressing normalcy, Bela Bela Township, Warmbaths.
1998: Bringing up baby: artists survey the reproductive body, Standard Bank National Arts Festival, Grahamstown; Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town; Standard Bank Gallery, Johannesburg.
1998: Family ties, Sandton Civic Gallery, Johannesburg.
1997: Fifty stories, Carlton Centre, Johannesburg.
1997: Martinessen Prize, Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1996: Martinessen Prize, Gertrude Posel Gallery, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1991: Student show, State theatre, Pretoria.

Group Exhibitions (International)

1999: Art and Soul Festival, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Publications (illustrations)

2009: Kobus Moolman (ed.), Tilling the Hard Soil, University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, Durban.

Publications (reviews & catalogues)

2008: Sabine Marschall, Transforming symbolic identity: Wall art and the South African identity, 'African Arts', Summer vol: 21.
2001: Shelley Barry, Politicising disability through arts and culture: an interview with Mandla Mabila, Disabilty World vol 9.
2001: Michael Coulson, Financial Mail, September 7.
2001: Kathryn Smith, Art Bio:Mandla Mabila, Artthrob, September
1998: Terry Kurgan, Bringing up baby: artists survey the reproductive body, Cape Town.


2008: Mentors of Excellence Award, Nasrec, Johannesburg.
2008: South African Disabled Musicians Association Award, Diepkloof Hall, Soweto.
2005: Nomination, Brett Kebble Awards, Cape Town.
2000: National winner, UBS Art Award, Camouflage Art, Johannesburg.
1998 - 1999: Postgraduate Merit Award, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1997: Top Achievers Award for disabled students, Coca Cola Wits Foundation, Johannesburg.


Gauteng Legislature.
Telkom South Africa.
South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC).


2008 - 2011: Standard generating bodies and national qualification framework specialist, MAPPP-SETA, Johannesburg.
2007: Acting skills planning and Projects manager, MAPPP-SETA, Johannesburg.
2005: Implementation co-ordiantor, MAPPP-SETA, Johannesburg.
2004: Regional Coordinator, MAPPP-SETA, Johannesburg.
2002 - 2003: Information and disability coordinator, Create South Africa, Johannesburg.
2002: Painting tutor, Wits School of Arts, Fine Art Department, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
2001: Assistant graphic design, Computer and Network Services, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1998: Drawing research assistant, Rock Art Research Unit, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1997: Research assistant, Disabled Student Programme; People awareness of disability issues, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.
1997: Assistant designer, International Association of Art Critics, Johannesburg.
1996: Student assistant, Central Admissions Office, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.