Hamabakahle Trevor Makhoba
Trevor Makhoba, one of South Africa's most important
artists, died this week, February 24. His unexpected death
at the age of 47 has shaken the KZN art community.
ArtThrob received the following obituary notice, which
we have reprinted unedited.
Born in Cato Manor in 1956 Trevor grew up in Umlazi
and received no formal art training. But this has not
inhabited his career as an artist. His tremendous
natural talent flourished. His paintings were
flamboyant and professional. His vision was unique. Jo
Thorpe, the founder of The African Art Centre,
realised the Trevor's had an original vision and
encouraged him throughout. Trevor was primarily a
painter, whose vision made acerbic comments on our
society, sometimes using black humour to make his
He used oils, acrylic, pen and pastel. He lived and
worked in Umlazi.
His solo shows are too numerous to mention. Makhoba
held many local exhibitions, most of them at the
African Art Centre with which he remained in close
touch throughout his career, but he also had shows in
all major centres and overseas. Highlight of his
career was being named Standard Bank Young Artist
Award in 1996. He exhibited in Rome, Stuttgart, London
and New York.
As artist and teacher Makhoba's influence has been
considerable, He found his own style at an early age
and his works were sometimes described as surreal. His
subject matter was derived from his immediate
He painted - in his own words - 'the history of blacks
in this country from the hardships and all those
things that happened to me and others.' Throughout
his life he remained concerned with the social ills of
the past Makhoba leaves a great legacy. Not only his
oeuvre, but also the many artists he taught to paint.
His last solo show was the NSA Galleries in 2001. Many
of his works were sold to foreigners who recognised
his unique talent. Makhoba's work is represented in
all major public galleries in this country.