Art and African Identity with Malose Pete

Art and African Identity with Malose Pete

Fine Artist Malose Pete was born in Polokwane, Limpopo and grew up in a rural place called Ga-Mahoai. He went to junior school at Rachebole Primary where there were no art classes but realised his art potential by making illustrations of plants and animals for his teachers.

Art and African Identity with Malose Pete

Malose’s formal art education started when he enrolled at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the Fine Arts Department in 2008 until 2011 when he completed for a B-Tech Degree qualification majoring in Painting and Sculpture. Malose is currently a part time lecturer at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT). Matoyana Media spoke to him about art, Black History Month, democracy and more.

Art and African Identity with Malose Pete How did you get to be an artist – is it a calling?

“My older brother introduced me to art. It then grew into its own direction and the more I wondered of its meaning the more it grew an identity I hadn’t imagined. It is definitely a calling; the projects I aim to achieve will shift how the world sees things.”

Its Black History Month this month, which although it’s American-based is rooted in recognising and honouring African’s from Africa – what does this mean to you?

“It means Africans re-recognising the value of their own identity. Our history is so layered that in its entirety it has clues to what’s possible and what to look out for – if we are to live in our truest sense of self.”

Art and African Identity with Malose Pete The theme this year is ‘African Americans and the Vote’, how important is it to use democratic rights and make voices not always heard, heard?

“The importance of this is dependent on the democratic system (from top to bottom) not being corrupt. It is romantic but counterintuitive to believe in fairness, while the people we (or they) trust with their votes sell out at the drop of a coin. Let’s vote, vote for candidates who are visionary and sober minded in decision making.”

How does being African impact on your work and the themes of your art?

Art and African Identity with Malose Pete “Currently I’m working on a theme that speaks to and interrogates the effects on ‘self’ by changes in the African environment and African economy titled, “Speaking in the Language of my Forefathers“. It also touches on wealth in an African definition instead of the imported context we’re accustomed to today.

Who are your heroes in life and art?

“In life, my grandparents who achieved incredible successes and manifestations despite their environment back then. In art, basically any of the artists who are true to their sense of self and attaining success from it.”

As an artist / entrepreneur what would you like to learn about taking your business to the next level?

“I think in art business, learning product placement in an ever changing market is essential. We do create for the art to be taken in by an audience after all, and live off of it.”

Art and African Identity with Malose Pete What is your wish for African’s from all over the world?

“My wish is for Africans to define and own their own self derived sense of self. I think we’re taking in way too much external noise that we’re disconnected with our truest selves.”

There’s much to think about from this interview – many thanks for your time Malose.

To contact Malose Pete email:

To see more of his work visit:

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