“There are people I know from back home who moved to South Africa. When I see them here, looking for jobs, or a doctor working in a restaurant because they’re looking to make ends meet, I’m so touched. Those people, I know them and I’m so close to them. They are the people I portray in my paintings.”
Born in 1985 in an artistic family in Harare, Tafadzwa Tega started painting and drawing at a young age encouraged by his relatives, he honed his skills at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe where he had his first group show. He moved to Cape Town shortly after his studies where he is currently based.
Tega has participated in several group exhibitions and has had four solo exhibitions to his name. His work can be found in several institutional and private collections, including The Leridon Collection, Spier, Nando's and the University of Cape Town (UCT). Tega's work has been presented several times at the FNB Joburg (2018-2020) and Cape Town Investec art fairs (2020) and was presented at the 2021 ART X Lagos art fair. In 2021, Tafadzwa Tega presented Harare Dream at Foreign Agent, his first solo exhibition at the gallery.
Themes related to the human condition including memories, culture, religion and tradition are omnipresent in his work. He also deals with matters related to identity and global migration by sharing stories of immigrants. His work is radiant, hopeful and colourful. It is filled with symbolism, flowers and piles of books often accompany his figures. The flowers stand for home, warmth and community. The books represent the education that many of his subjects have received. It alludes to their wealth of knowledge and experience despite their current status.