Bongani Tshabalala

View Gallery


Born in South Africa and based in the Free State, Bongani Tshabalala is a self-taught photographer whose contemporary style narrates stories about African people. Tshabalala is driven by creating a more diverse picture and inspired by the stories and faces of his subjects. Bongani usually aims his camera at subjects other than himself, in high focus and sharp contrast between dark and light; framing with artistic agency unique and engaging depictions of South African male beings. Tshabalala uses his place of birth as an inspiration to tell current stories happening in townships. His subjects are often people he discovers on the streets and finds interesting.

Bongani studied Mechanical Engineering at the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein, whilst never giving up on his dream of becoming a professional visual artist. “Photography to me is more than just clicking the shutter speed; it’s more about connecting with my subjects.”

Bongani took part in number of exhibitions, Portrait show curated by Through the Lens Collective (2021), Sasol New Signatures Art Competition Finalist (2021), Translating home, Latitudes Online, curated by Bontle Tau (2021), Free State Art Collective Group Exhibition, Gallery 2 (2021), Stilled Life, Turbine Art Fair (2020), Myopia, William Humphreys Art Museum (2020), LOCKDOWN – A viral art experiment by the Free State Art Collective (2020), New Breed Art Competition, Oliewenhuis Art Museum (2019).

Holding two awards on his name, Thami Mnyele Fine art awards, Top 100 finalist (2021). New Breed Art Competition, Public Choice Award (2019).