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NTOMBI NALA (article first published : 2003-09-14)

The next exhibition at The African Art Centre will feature the work of Ntombi Nala.

Ntombi lives in a rural area near Eshowe, and comes from a long line of potters. She was taught by her grandmother Mmaza Zuma. It was only when she married and moved to her husband’s farm that she started to make pots for the community around her. She started when she was 26 years old after the birth of her first child. She has one daughter and four sons and has taught two of her sons, Senzo and Afrika, to make clay pots as well.

Ntombi constructs very large clay beer pots in traditional shapes of ukhamba and uphiso using classic amansumpa decorative patterns. These take four to six weeks to construct and are fired in a pit. The sheer size of her pots means that risks are taken and Ntombi with her special talent, succeeds admirably.

The “master” craftsperson in any arena elevates accomplishment to a level few can reach. Ntombi’s vituosity is preserved in the pot to provide timeless enjoyment and admiration.

The exhibition will be opened by Jenny Hawke, curator of the Nongqayi Museum in Eshowe on September 17.




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