Blessing Ngobeni


Blessing Ngobeni is a Johannesburg-based artist and winner of the Standard Bank Young Artist Award 2020. He is known for his large-scale, mixed media works, through which he gives critical commentary on the failures of post-apartheid South Africa and its persistent injustices. Ngobeni’s critique is fuelled by his own experience of adversity throughout his childhood, which saw him abandoned and abused, escaping his harsh existence in rural Limpopo and moving to Johannesburg as an adolescent, only to find himself drawn into a life of crime and ending up in jail as a teenager. While in detention, he embraced art through the Tsoga (Wake Up) Arts Project, and displayed immense talent. On his release in 2006, Ngobeni worked in various art and design-related fields, all the time pursuing his artistic ambitions. He was awarded the Reinhold Cassirer Ward in 2012. He has also established his own award for emerging artists, the Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize.