Wezile Mgibe

Umdiyadiya is inspired by collective memories and seeks to track historical events in black households during South Africa’s turbulent recent past.

As a live performance work which includes an installation of 10 square meter hand sewed mutton cloth material and bandages, the artist Wezile Mgibe remembers time spent in both welcoming and unwelcoming spaces, reflecting on experiences with family and friends. Encountering kindness and softness within rough and uncomfortable spaces and situations, the work suggests that there can be love in spaces you might consider “broken” and that, in some instances, beautiful memories were made there which deserve to be remembered.

Umdiyadiya is a Xhosa word to describe the cloth installed inside the house to create rooms, it is used as a space demarcation. This kind of demarcation cloth is not only used in the Xhosa tribe but has iterations in other parts of the world.


The work was developed within a research residency in Zimbabwe supported by the Pro Helvetia and SDC ANT Mobility fund and Victory of the Word BodyLand residency (Hogsback)

Artist: Wezile Mgibe
Lolly Mhlongo: Production Manager
Researchers contributors: CAHR York (UK), ANT Mobility Fund
Sounds: Urban Village, Robag Wruhme, Luke Howard and Tom Trago


Wezile Mgibe (B.1990, Port Elizabeth) is an art practitioner whose interdisciplinary practice encompasses performance, film, installation as a tool for social change. His work confronts prejudices and advocates against social inequality and creates a platform for critical self- reflexivity within unwelcoming spaces. Mgibe’s work is influenced by how things have come to existence, as well as motivations behind certain movements, reactions, human behaviors and mostly how these become symbols. Mgibe’s noted international commissioned projects includes video performance with LEAD Project and LSE Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa, M1/M2 Highway Billboard Feature by Centre for Less good ideas, A Film by Human Rights Defender Hub Artivism and University of York (CAHR) A contemporary trained movement artist who runs an On site project in public realm, is very interested in the concept of Belonging.

Mgibe is a 2019 David Koloane award recipient, Arts & Culture Trust Finalist Recipient for 2020. His body of work has been witnessed across the country including at Iziko National Gallery (SA), Norval Foundation, FNB Art Joburg, Latitudes Art Fair, South African State Theatre, Bag Factory Artist Studios, Hangar(Portugal) and PIAD. Mgibe has participated in number of residencies including SIRA residency (Madagascar), OpenLab residency (Karoo/Bloemfontein), Virtual Worlding Residency exchange (Canada/RSA), BODYLAND residency (Hogsback).