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Humans

Nkosinathi Tshabalala (Mojo Series) by Phumzile Radebe and photography by Travis Owen

Teacher, writer and visual artist, Nkosinathi Tshabalala is driven by his passion for art, education and literature.

He says that Diepkloof is a gold mine for artistic talent, especially in the literary arts. His dream is to empower black children to engage in art academically and professionally “You can’t write if you don’t read. I try to instil the value of reading for leisure in my learners because literature is a great way to broaden perspective and imagination.”

Nkosinathi prides himself on his ability to create opportunities. When his parents died, he was left to make his own way and that is exactly what he did. After art school, he went into psychology and says that is where he fell in love with teaching. He joined Thabisile Primary School in Diepkloof as an SGB teacher, an experience he calls “Truly rewarding”.

He hopes to publish his children’s stories and possibly get some of his students published in the same genre.

“There is definitely a gap in terms of art education in public schools versus Model C schools. I try to play my part here, just to give our kids the same exposure to the arts that suburban schools provide, just because art is an actual career path and this is not something you are encouraged to want as a black kid in the hood.”

Nkosinathi says what he appreciates the most about Diepkloof is its artistic energy, “Creative people live here! There is art everywhere in Diep. I know the cool kids would differ, but I would say that artists, like me, run Diep!”