Sylvester Tshepang Maelangwe

Visual Arts Mentor

Sylvester Tshepang Maelangwe was born on the 04th of November 1982, in a village called Phokeng. He developed art interest during his primary days at Matlhware Primary School and he was mostly influenced by his cousin. In 1995 he started middle school at Tlhabane Technical and Commercial Middle School, and there he studied technical subjects which included Technical drawing, metal work wood work and other technical trades. In 1996 during the youth camp organized by Bafokeng United Youth Organization (BUYO), Tshepang got his first art commission. He was asked to depict Bafokeng landscapes and to capture the camp mood.

Tshepang matriculated in the year 2000, and in 2001 he moved to Tshwane were he enrolled at Pretoria North Collage for Introduction to Art. 2003 he moved back to Phokeng were he and started attending entrepreneurial classes at Addicted to Business until 2004. After the completion of the course he setup his first art studio at Phatlhogo Information Centre. The studio was well known for printing, painting, drawing, wood curving, bead work, leather works and mosaic. Tshepang was also a poet and an instrument player for a local Afro-centric group called Mmoki Poetry collective.

In 2005 he facilitated the Royal Bafokeng Blue Print project, working with 29 artists from all the Bafokeng villages. He curated 29 artworks representing morals and values of the nation. In 2007 he was a painter during the launch of the Royal Bafokeng Arts and Culture department hosted at Legato gardens. During the same year, he facilitated the paper recycling project for five Bojanala municipalities.

2009-2012 he went back to Tshwane to further his studies in the arts. He enrolled with Tshwane University of Technology were he qualified with a Diploma and a B-Tech degree in Fine and Applied Art. And he majored in Art Theory, painting and Sculpture. During his years at the University, he was also doing guided tours and Education Assistance at the Pretoria Art Museum. He was a finalized of the PPC Young Sculptor Awards in 2010 and Sasol New Signatures in 2012. Also took part in the For Sale Exhibition hosted by Pretoria Art museum and Tshaile Exhibition.

2014 he worked as a facilitator at Mthatha Arts and Crafts hub in the Eastern Cape. And in 2015 he had his first international tour to Turkey. During the same year he was the assistant curator for the Rustenburg Rapid Transport (RRT) working with MR Clive Van Den Berg. 2016 he curated the first Local Exhibition at the Royal Marang Hotel, exhibiting seven local artists. He further conceptualized and pioneered the registration of Phoka Outlets through the Royal Bafokeng Enterprise Development.

2017-2019 he was offering art classes for children in schools and youth out of school at the RBED Centre. And he was a judge for the international art competition hosted by the Rustenburg Lions called the Peace Poster Competition, and a judge for the Sibanye school art competition held at Madibeng municipality.

2020 he curated the exhibition titled Batswana History and Heritage Preservation hosted at the old Matale premises and further toured to University of North West, Potchefstroom campus. In 2021 he took part in the Workers Day exhibition hosted by Ellis House Art Building in Johannesburg. And he further participated in a Bojanala district municipality mural painting at the Mmabana Arts premises. In 2022 he facilitated a workshop in Phokeng training twenty out of school youth in painting and exhibiting their products at the Ellis House Art Building.

Media appearances:

Tshepang appeared on SABC, Vukuzenzele program. Local Bafokeng newsletter called Segoagoe, newspaper called Pretoria news, Herald newspaper, Art-times magazine and Bafokeng book called People of the Dew.