art, Interviews

A day in the life of Banele Khoza

Banele Khoza
Banele KhozaBanele Khoza.

Google Banele Khoza and almost every digital piece written about this young Pretoria-based artist will say that he’s someone to watch – and we couldn’t agree more. His emotionally-charged paintings that engage with the disorienting experience of coming of age in the 21st century are not only beautiful to look at, they also get to the heart of what it means to be human. For Khoza, art and life are one and the same, and his paintings read like pages from his journal, with some even including text to further illustrate this point. We asked Khoza to let us peep into his daily diary to see how the creative spends his days. The first thought I had today when I opened my eyes was that I need to work on balancing life and work. It also dawned on me that I like my space way too much – I like things in the order I left them in and I don’t mind my own mess. Today I’m meeting with Joburg-based artist Vusi Beauchamp to discuss our collaboration, and then I am with the film crew from decor reality competition Win A Home for the rest of the day. The soundtrack to today is 'Unstoppable’ by Lianne La Havas… actually, her entire Blood album is my mood for the day. Today I’ll be working on the Win A Home project. I have gone through the Kilnerpark Kwekery nursery in Pretoria to collect wild orchids, sourced from the mall and am now headed to the estate that I am working from. Later I am speaking to/Skyping with art director Retha Bornmann to discuss my participation at OppiKoppi music festival. In my bag I’ve got packed my essentials: sketchbook, tablet, laptop, cellphone, Bluetooth speaker, power bank, mobile charger and pens. It is sad how our lives are now completely ruled by technology. I wish I had a cosmetic bag too. I wish I was in my studio apartment, sitting in the sunroom finishing off The Quiet Violence of Dreams by K Sello Duiker and painting with no network reception.
'Keep an Eye Open' by Banele Khoza.

Today I mustn’t forget to diarise all my upcoming appointments. I have a dinner on Friday with artist and lecturer Morné Venter that I should not forget. Lunch today is a packed lunchbox: hake, spinach and butternut. I am on the road all day, so I need to eat well… but I forgot my fork. Today I bought nothing. I paid rent and my staff, and I felt numb afterwards. Some days I want to crawl back to my parents’ care. On my ‘to call’ list today is photographer Tatenda Chidora (couldn’t get through), artist Ke Neil We, photographer Mpho Mokgadi, Simone Ross, interior designer Tshepo Sealetsa, Retha Bornmann and House and Leisure editor Tiaan Nagel. Today I painted/wrote/doodled nothing. I wish hours were sold somewhere so I could have a 28-hour day. However, I made a mental note that I need to believe more in myself. All seems possible. A surprise today was how generous people can be if you just ask. It is important to let the world know what you need and somehow it will conspire with you. I’m grateful today for my life. I am surrounded by love all day, from the plants I collect to my family, friends and the creative industry. The last thing I’ll do this evening before going to sleep is assure myself in the mirror that all is on track and my future love is on his way, and keep one light on because I can't sleep in complete darkness. Follow Khoza on Instagram to keep up with his work.
Read our feature on Banele Khoza in the October 2017 issue of House and Leisure - in stores and online now.
'Father Fixated (III)' by Banele Khoza.