Crafts that empower, uplift and inspire.

Artist Card: Scelo Mhlongo


This card is a print of Scelo Mhlongo’s painting “Garden Birds”. Card dimensions are approximately 14cm x 14cm. This card does not come with an envelope.

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About the Artist

Scelo Mhongo was born on 6-10-1977 in Mthwalume but currently lives in Umlazi. He grew up in Mthwalume, going to school and looking after cows on the weekend and afternoons. Whilst caring for the animals he carved sticks and made Sangoma dancing sticks (Iqhabanga) for local sangomas. He had no tools and used a broken bottle to carve with. At school he showed a talent for handcraft work. Hi inspiration for crafts came from his late grandfather as he was made benches and chairs using wood, and he was inspired to make things for himself.

He started drawing pictures and one picture was seen by someone from Johannesburg and he took Scelo and taught him how to make jewellery, and how to market the jewellery. He sold at Windermere shopping centre, where Woza Moya commissioned him to make some earrings of popular South African brands. He also sold to the African Art Centre and they assisted him by teaching him how to paint. He also set up a stand and sold jewellery at Soccer matches with the different teams painted on the pendants.

This is the first time that Scelo has attempted bigger artworks, as he usually paints magnets and soccer necklaces. Covid has been particularly hard for him as all outlets were closed and with minimal sales and all soccer matches cancelled. Scelo is always positive “My life has changed through outlets selling my artwork, I know I can put food on the table and able to assist my child at university, helping him where I can.” His major challenges are the expense of materials, paint and brushes and that every item is handmade.