Sizakele Angel Khumalo
Artist and curator
Using art as a way of uplifting and beautifying communities is Sizakele Angel Khumalo’s passion.
She believes art can be a community engagement tool to help make Johannesburg a better city for everyone, a belief that has grown out of her skills as a photographer and an art curator.
Khumalo studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop, which kindled a broader interest in and understanding of the arts world in South Africa. She is now a professional freelance photographer and has worked with artists including Simphiwe Dana, Hugh Masekela, Paul Weinberg, Andrew Shabangu and David Krut.
But her true passion lies in her using her skills, connections and love of the arts to affect and inspire her community. She grew up in various parts of Johannesburg with strong ties to Jeppestown, where she lived in an informal building during her youth. In 2013 and 2014, she mentored local artists in the Jeppe Super Dream project, co-ordinated by Trinity Session and Sticky Situations as part of the British Council Connect ZA programme. She then founded Platinum Sketch Studios in 2014, an organisation aimed at youth development and community participation through art.
Continuing in a mentorship role, Khumalo co-founded Jeppe Photo Club in 2015 with Rebecca Crook to teach young people how to tell stories and engage their community through photography. The club has become like a family, holding meetings and outings and providing support for each other and the neighbourhood.
She is also part of an arts and youth residency programme based in the old Windybrow Theatre in Hillbrow, investigating how to reactivate the Windybrow as an arts and cultural space again and bring life back to its surroundings. She’s there as a community facilitator and researcher for the Market Theatre.
Khumalo also served as a mentor in the My Alex project in Alexandra township, helping artists and residents to develop public artworks to regenerate Pioneer Park in Rosettenville.
As a curator and arts administrator she worked for the Bailey African History Archives, which specialise in art photography. As the lead gallery attendant, Khumalo sold art, organised art fairs and assisted with the curating of several shows, including 60 Years of South African Photography at Johannesburg Art Gallery.
As an artist herself, she explores and documents social issues including gender and sexuality, urban space, ethnicity and tensions between traditional and modern practices.
— Lesley Stones