Sandile B Cele

“This is my side of the story - using my work as language. A story of Isiqhaza, "zulu goth" and tradition.”


Sandile Brian Cele was born in 1980 in Umlazi Township, Durban in South Africa.  Cele’s unique and bold works express his own inner journey, revealing a combination of of his Zulu childhood with his contemporary urban, Afro-punk influences, honed on the streets of contemporary metro Cape Town and culminating in his Zulu-Goth persona.

In his idiosyncratic way, simultaneously playful and culturally layered, Cele embraces and celebrates the parts of his world all too often denigrated by others. He presents an authentic and original voice while revealing something that is old and forgotten- “Isiqhaza/Zulu earplug”.   Isiqhaza represents the fusion of traditional lifestyle and rituals embodied in ceramic artefacts, together with structural and sculptural forms, and functional objects.

Sandile B Cele
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Sandile B Cele
After matriculating, Cele pursued a degree in Fine Arts majoring in ceramics under the mentorship of Hennie Stroebel. On graduating, his talent and vibrancy was immediately recognised and he was selected to work with a team developing rural products. Two years later, he moved to Mpumalanga tower with Arts Aid, helping young and emerging artists to develop a range of interdisciplinary skills and craft products, including beadwork, ceramics, woodwork and print- and paper-making. While in Mpumalanga, Cele first encountered internationally renowned ceramicist Clementina van der Walt. This resulting in Cele in becoming her studio assistant where he further developed his wide range of skills and expertise.
Sandile Cele is now co-owner of SCB Studios in Woodstock, Cape Town where he creates his bold, authentic and original pieces.
Sandile B Cele
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