yebo gallery swaziland

11:43 am

Swaziland is known for many things but its art and artists are still much of a hidden treasure. I, as an artist myself, have been blessed to see some amazing exhibition work and engage with incredible artists around Swaziland. An art gallery that stands out to me is Yebo! Gallery situated in Ezulwini. It now has added a subsidiary shop in Malkerns at Swazi Candles.

I admit the first time I went to Yebo! Gallery, I thought I was lost. I had gotten to Ezulwini and been told it is behind the popular Gables shopping complex. I followed the signs on a beautiful walk in the Ezulwini Valley, asking along the way to ensure I was on the right path. It is on your way to Mantenga Cultural Village, on the right. It was such a breath of fresh air finding it. I had not seen any space like it in Swaziland before. Luckily I knew Pete Armstrong, who had been my Community Service facilitator at Waterford Kamhlaba where I went to high school. He and his family are a major part of the Gallery and developing Swazi artists.

The first show I attended there was one sponsored by SEDCO, a company that supports small business enterprises in the country. I attended the opening with my best friend in August 2014. Art was made from recycled materials, was geared towards the home environment and making Art more accessible to the masses. It aimed to treat art as a viable business venture. I later had a piece in one of the later exhibitions which was exciting. The last show I attended there was a couple of weeks ago. The theme was Swazi landscapes. Swaziland’s actual landscapes are part of what forms our identity and pride. It is always amazing to see how various artists interpret a theme is such different ways and using different media. An example is Thabo Malaza, whose style can be so abstract and thought-provoking. People from Yebo! Gallery are also involved in other creative spaces. The renowned Bushfire Festival that takes place in Swaziland around the end of May has an art component as well. The Barn is a space where an exhibition runs throughout the festival. It adds to an already incredible festival encompassing the arts.

Another important component of this Gallery is the community initiative and non-profit called Yebo! ArtReach in which they work towards the development of the arts in Swaziland, including grassroots level. It aims to address personal and social issues experienced by various marginalized groups in the country. It thus is important in showcasing art as a necessary tool for creativity, expression and learning. As well as making art accessible to people in Swaziland. If you ever miss Yebo! Gallery, you can check out  work online! They are setting up Etsy account soon so if you have a piece you wanna take home with you but have trouble with luggage then you can ship it! No problem!

If you are ever in Swaziland and around the Ezulwini or Malkerns Valley, make Yebo! Gallery a stop. The creativity and tranquility will refresh you. Enjoy the talent and beauty that our majestic kingdom has to offer. We dare you.


Visit: www.yeboswaziland.com for more info

Post by Khethiwe Gumede - Swaziland

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