Mhlonishwa Chiliza's artwork titled compass.

Mhlonishwa Chiliza did not have an ordinary childhood like every child when he grew up. When other youngsters were thinking of what kind of toys they would like to play with and fuss over, this visionary artist had one thought that streamed through his mind in which he turned into a reality, how he can change the world through art.

When asked where he does draw his inspiration, Nelson Mandela was one of legendary giants mentioned that have great influence over him and his art.

“From childhood, I have seen images, statues, and documentaries of Nelson that portrayed him as a world icon. Mandela was a remarkable man and one of the great leaders of the century that united nation(s) and inspired the world.” Said Mhlonishwa Chiliza.

With his work a sacred reflection of what goes through his mind when he is left alone to mend perfection, Chilliza is surely has been gifted with hands that craft beauty effortlessly.

Only being 26 years of age, this multitalented artist has managed to retrieve numerous awards for his pieces and also being granted with an opportunity to be short listed in the PPC Imaginarium National Competition, in which he later managed to take first place.

In 2011 he was awarded first place in the visual art competition of the National Creative Arts Youth Festival and has managed to make his new work titled: “Dreaming in Hopelessness” the focal point.

Chiliuza was also nominated In 2015- 2016 as one of the two finalists in EThekwini Art price competition to erect a public sculpture that promote peace and social cohesion in Durban.

With his latest creation themed Compass he elaborates more on what it truly stands for and why he titled it compass.

“With this work titled Compass, I intend to acknowledge that I see Nelson beyond just being a world icon, I perceive him as a moral compass. The rectangular needle like structure with a relief resembles a sarcophagus in the burial of heroes and kings.”

He added: “The relief on the needle which narrates parts of Nelson Mandela’s life time intends to show how I have been inspired by the life he lived. He was a leading example, showing that visions and goals can be achieved. I am part of the free generation that is benefiting from the sacrifices he made throughout his life time.”

Rich passion and unrestricted love for his craft reflected through him as he defined his art work and spoke about it.

By: Snenhlanhla Ndudula




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