In this untitled painting (plate 325) Zamani Xaba, a young artist from Durban, addresses an issue that highlights the thin line that exists between traditional healing and inflicting injury. Born in 1980 in Durban, Xaba attended the Saturday morning art classes run by Pat Khoza at the Durban Art Gallery from 1995. In 2001 he started attending art classes offered at the African Art Centre at the Durban Institute of Technology under Langa Magwa and Thando Mama.
Barely out of high school, Xaba takes a sensitive, private subject and subjects it to analysis. In this painting (plate 325), which is set in a traditional hut, a sangoma is seen in the act of healing a man. This work was exhibited in a group show titled Untold Tales of Magic: Abelumbi, held at the Durban Art Gallery and which travelled nationally during 2001 and 2002. In responding to the theme, Xaba has drawn from his own experience of traditional healing. Zamani has been initiated into the practice by a qualified traditional healer and has also accompanied his father to visit his family in his rural home, where he has observed traditional sangomas at work. His interpretation of this theme dwells much on an interpretation of magic as a healing rather than a harmful process.
Born 1980, Durban. Training 2001–2003: Velobala Group, Saturday classes offered by the African Art Centre, Durban. Exhibitions 2001: Untold Tales of Magic: Abelumbi, Durban Art Gallery. Collections Has work in a number of private collections.