We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the this website. See our cookie policy for information how to change your cookie settings.

Zwelethu Mthethwa

Location: Mtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Research Centre: Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies

“Any work that is of interest to me is the kind of work that urges me to ask diverse questions. The questions that we are driven to ask emanate from our understanding or lack of understanding of a certain culture. I spend years researching and understanding my subject matter, and I try to focus on the positive and avoid the spectacle. Aesthetics plays a major role when considering the construction of a photograph. Colour, texture and the pose are vital elements of the image. It is very important to me, in terms of aesthetics, to portray something that I find beautiful.” Zwelethu Mthethwa

While in residence, Zwelethu will be exploring the part that communities play in contributing to health research. The outcomes of his residency may include an exhibition in the Umkhanyakude district of KwaZulu-Natal.

  • First impressions

    First impressions

    "Zwelethu Mthethwa arrived on Sunday evening after a rather long journey from Cape Town to Mtubatuba. With a sense of nervousness and anticipation I went to meet him."

  • Interests and approach

    Interests and approach

    "With the proposed photographic project, Zwelethu Mthethwa intends to visually define the Mtubatuba community that Africa Centre is working with, subverting the dehumanisation inherent in statistics, and instead emphasising the human faces attached to the data."

  • Production


    "Go to your local communities, to your families, to your friends and try to capture what you understand is good health."

  • Final outcomes

    Final outcomes

    "This work has been a life-changing experience for me since it has introduced me to the art or photography and has given me the opportunity to work alongside a true master."


Zwelethu began his residency in May 2012.

Zwelethu Mthethwa’s CV [PDF,111KB]

Image: Zwelethu Mthethwa. Photo © Jurie Senekal, 2007

Share |