Muofhe who loves herself so much it terrifies the world
One late evening in 2019, I attended Upile Chisala’s reading of her anthology titled Nectar. And the words that come from places within her that we can only reach on pages are still housed in my heart. Many weeks after that one late evening in 2019, there are 18 words written by Upile Chisala that call my heart home now.
‘black and woman and in love with yourself. you are terrifying. they are terrified. (as they should be).’
Upile wrote that.
Upile read that.
Upile’s words entered the place somewhere between my lungs and never left. It is Upile’s 18 words that have allowed to me understand the Black womanhood that Muofhe Manavhela clothes her canvases with. This Black womanhood terrifies the world. As it should.
READ SITTING DOWN WITH MUOFHE MANAVHELA ON A WEDNESDAY EVENING HERE: http://sacreativenetwork.co.za/2021/03/sitting-down-with-muofhe-manavhela-on-a-wednesday-evening/
The Black woman who loves herself in Manavhela’s 12 seconds solo exhibition
Her inaugural exhibition 12 seconds is a portrayal of a dangerous Black woman who drowns stereotypes of Black womanhood with every drop of the love she has for herself. The relationships that exist between every woman she is and is becoming break down, brick by brick, every expectation of how to be a Black woman. Therefore, it will never just be art. Muofhe’s work will always be the act of taking your body, your mind, your womanhood back. And when it is all back in the palm of your hands, she teaches us that it then becomes an act of constructing.
An act of constructing spaces with mirrors only so all we see is how see ourselves. The act of deconstructing walls with distorted reflections of ourselves.
An act of constructing bathtubs and cleansing our bodies, ridding them of every pain that the world has inflicted. The act of deconstructing every space the world has told us our bodies do not belong in.
And this act
As it should be.
Because Muofhe is a Black woman constructing spaces for all Black womanhood to exist as it is and not as it should. Her art takes away the world’s power. And the world hates being powerless over Black womanhood.
The exhibition was hosted by Bubblegum Gallery in April 2021. Muofhe’s artworks portraying the liberation of Black womanhood are available for purchase on the Bubblegum Shop. Buy here: https://shop.bubblegumclub.co.za/
View her work here: https://www.ememyear.com/