Sibusiso Duma is a young artist who is presently making his mark within the Durban art scene. His talent was noticed and nourished by the late Trevor Makhoba (qv.) through his Philange Art Project based in Umlazi, a township south of Durban where Makhoba had built a studio space behind his house. For four years Duma was under Makhoba’s tutelage, and has since shared a stage with Makhoba and another former student, Welcome Danca. Together they have held a number of exhibitions at the African Art Centre in Durban.

Although Duma has built on his own style and visual language, the influence of Makhoba is noticeable. This does more credit than harm, and his work is able to stand on its own as work with an original eye. His treatment of surface, subject, space and colour is unique in that other issues are not stated directly but are alluded to, thus creating an element of intrigue and wonder.Duma’s sense is gentler and his subject bolder and less intricate. The strong social commentary with a touch of humour as seen in the painting The ghost shows the ‘homecoming’ of a deceased man, depicted as a skeleton with a suitcase symbolising a journey taken; he also has a hat and a traditional stick suggesting his social standing at home and beyond. Two women are seen moving hastily away, as if fleeing from the ghost in the foreground. This foregrounding emphasises the meaning of a man in the home. It is always believed that the spirit of the deceased should be brought back to protect the family.

However, a ghost may symbolise bad blood and that the departed has not gone to rest because of some unfinished business; or perhaps a certain ritual has not been carried through. This ‘bad blood’ could also allude to the rampant HIV/AIDS in rural communities, where a man, as breadwinner, might migrate to the city to work and, as often happens, find pleasures with other women. Coming back as a ghost may allude to a point where there is little life left and one comes home to await death. This is emphasised by the fact that the scene is set in daylight, which is not usually associated with ghosts. Gabi NgcoboSibusiso Duma born in Durban in 1978.


Initially self-taught, and later came under the tutelage of Trevor Makhoba.


Sibusiso was one of 10 finalists for the ABSA L’Atelier Art Award 2010.



2002: African Art Centre, Durban 
2007: African Art Centre, Durban
2008: AVA, Cape Town
2010: artSPACE durban, Durban


1997: African Art Centre, Group With Welcome Danca & Trevor Makhoba 
1999: ‘Izwe Lethu’ (Our Land), African Art Centre,Durban 
2000: Makabongwe Opehezulu “Thank God For Creativity”, African Art Centre
2000: Sezenjani Ngengculazi “What Do We To Do About Aids?” African Art Centre
2004: Joint Exhibition With Welcome Danca, Bat Centre
2004: Joint Exhibition With Welcome Danca, African Art Centre
2007: “Revision”, African Art Centre 
2007: Bad “Best Of African Design” 100% Zulu, London 
2008: “Haibo”, Fresh Paint Gallery, Durban 
2008: ‘Sobathathu’, Joint with Welcome Danca and Bheki Khambule, African Art Centre, Durban 
2010: ‘Living in KZN’ Group Exhibition at artSPACE berlin, Berlin, Germany


Museum Services, Pietermaritzburg
The Campbell Collections, Durban 
Durban Art Gallery 
Kwa Muhle Museum, Durban 
Bruce Campbell-Smith Colletion, Capetown 
Robert And Cheryl Johnston Collection, Durban
Wouter Gildenhuys Collection, Durban 
Michael Stevenson Gallery, Cape Town 

“Revisions” collection owned by Bruce Campbell-Smyth

SMAC Gallery publication for the Johannesburg Art Fair, 2008

Collections in the Archives