Nombuso Dowelani was born in 2000 in KwaZulu-Natal, Newcastle, South Africa. She lives and works in Johannesburg. Her depictions of women reminiscent of her childhood; being raised in a women-led household. The affirmations from the women in her life breathed life into her visual art. She is currently completing her BA in Visual Art at the University of Johannesburg majoring in painting. Her art consists of paintings and prints, she uses these mediums to engage with topics like fractured identities, being black and the adversities of being a black woman, sexuality, the South African pop culture, and personal experiences. Her current body of works is set to honor black matriarchs from different works of life. She has been part of a group shows in and out of South Africa and is currently part of a residency by the Rand Merchant Bank.
Her work aims to empower and represent black women while exploring the complexities of womanhood in a postcolonial society. uMaZikode is her grandmother who raised her, she is a taxi owner and entrepreneur, she portrays her in most of her work because of what she represents having lived during apartheid and post-apartheid, in these paintings she tried to depict what it means to be a black woman in South Africa.
The paintings confront the reality of South African women, and the adversities that women face in terms of sexuality and sexism. She is a womanist who admires women, she believes and respects the abilities and talents of women and acknowledges their contribution to society, in most of her work she depicts women, the black female body. She portrays most of these women from the point of luxury, the blissful moments and the beauty of South African pop culture, the colorful garments, the gold teeth, and gold watches to shy away from the narrative of suffering, angry poverty black women.
Nombuso Dowelani is now studying for a Bachelor of Art in Visual Arts at the University of Johannesburg. Group exhibition: 2021, RMB Talent unlocked; 2020, Social Unconsciousness Edge; 2019, Alliance Francis gallery. Her work is present in the Ditau collection.