Sunday, April 21, 2013

I am Goodman Ndlovu

I was born at Inanda KwaBesta 40km north of Durban. I was raised by a single mother, Thembi Ndlovu, in a family of five children, four girls and one boy: I am the last born. All I know about my father, Phindela Zulu, is that he lived in Nkandla and worked at Shell and BP.

My mother was very creative. She sewed her own clothes even her wedding dress. She took my older sister and myself to live with her friend, Mr. Eddie Meth, the owner of PiscesSwimming Academy in Sydenham. Mr Meth
put us through Primary School. I schooled at Charles Hugo in Sydenham from grade 0 to grade 4, then moved back to Inanda. At Inanda I attended a school called Ikusasalentsha, I studied there for 2 years, grades 5 and 6. It was during the time I received the news of my mother's death, it was shocking news even though she was sick for a very long time, my mom was buried at a farm in Ndwedwe.

I left school for a while; my aunt got me back to a school called Buhlebethu P.P School were I completed graded 6 and 7; this is were I discovered my talent and love for sketching. In 2005 at Buhlebethu P.P school was receiving a visit by the Honourable M E C Prof. Gabriel Ndabandaba. Several learners were chosen to draw a portrait of the M EC and I was not a part of those learners because my talent was unknown to everyone. A teacher named Miss Mthiyane spotted my drawing - a portrait of Jesus and she asked me to draw the M E C and my portrait was the best and was presented to Prof. Ndabandaba. He was so impressed he asked for my details. I received the good news that Prof Ndabandaba was going to help me with school requirements. Once I chose my high school, J G Zuma High, I contacted Prof. Ndabandaba who arranged to meet me at Gem School wear with my former teacher, Mrs. Nana Ndlovu, from Buhlebethu P P School. Professor Ndabandaba bought everything I needed. I was treated like a VIP on that day and I had a coffee with Mr Pandor the owner of Gem school wear and we all walked with bodyguards.

Mr Eddie Meth was very surprised to hear about my artistic talents and he arranged for me to join the Saturday morning arts classes at the Durban Art Gallery; he paid for my art
 classes and all my expensive equipment. He is like father to me. He taught me to swim when I was a little kid and he always looked after me when ever I needed help. I always turn to him for bus-fare and for excursions.

Mrs Nana Ndlovu contacted the eThekwini Municipality to help me and they introduced me to Lungelo Gumede, the artist who has a studio at the BAT Centre where I met other artists who had a hand in my artistic career. In 2007 I decided to put up a stand at the Phoenix Plaza Center. I was so naive that I did not ask for permission and I was chased away by Security Officers; but I went back and asked the Plaza Management for a small space and they put me in the center where I did well in my school holidays. In 2008 I decided to move to a bigger center I spoke to the Marketing Manager of the Musgrave Center, Mr. Vinay Panday, who invited me to display my artwork on the exhibition at the Center. The exhibition was arranged for professional artists such as Steve Mandy, Isaac Sithole, Robert Bolter as well as Claude Chandler. The show was great and it was where I met Steve Mandy who helped me with art lessons. In 2010 I was included in working on the Prosperity murals - it was a lot of fun working with many artists.
My work was included in the Izikhwephezethu exhibition held in 2010 at the Durban Art Gallery. The opening of that exhibition was great.