Voices of the city: Thozama Mputa | FUTURE CAPE TOWN

“There are misconceptions about different neighbourhoods in the city; many assumptions are made before an individual even visits the neighbourhood.”

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This week we meet Thozama Mputa, a visual artist who explores a variety of techniques in her visual arts pieces, specifically experimenting with these in her portraiture.


Voices of the City is a weekly feature that spotlights the everyday lives of our citizens, living and working in the city. By asking the same five questions to all our interviewees, we discover not only how our experiences of the city differ, but also what we share. It is a daunting task to try and capture the diverse experiences of our city’s inhabitants, but we feel that it is a worthy, and necessary, endeavor, in order to better understand the present and future of our city.

Thozama Mputa, a Capetonian who is currently a Masters student in Landscape Architecture, is also a visual artist and photographer having always had a passion for art. With this amalgamation of creative influence she has acquired over the years, she seeks to challenge her understanding of form, structure and visual arts. She translates a linear hatching style, with a series of lines consisting of different thicknesses, into her portraiture that creates dynamic volume and shading.

11709787_10153463917547790_1252628220908032892_oWhat about Cape Town inspires you the most?

The people of Cape Town, the person sitting on the bench at the company Company’s feeding the pigeons. The strangers chatting to one another while waiting patiently for the MyCity Bus. The school children on an outing to one of many museums, heritage sites or gardens. The toddlers on the beach, the men and women handing out pamphlets on street corners in the city centre and the group of friends celebrating a mile stone at one of the vibrant restaurants or bars. It’s the people interacting with the city that inspire me.

Do you have a secret space or place that you enjoy in the city?

Using the various modes of public transport in the city is something I enjoy which is probably the reason why I constantly delay getting my drivers licence. The bus has offered me the opportunity to familiarise myself with the people in my neighbourhood. You get a unique vantage point of the city. Recently while commuting by train, I got to see the backyards of various homes; a view usually hidden. Public transport is the moment you sit or stand for a moment with a complete stranger, minus the awkwardness.


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What was the last exciting event you attended in the city?

Cape Town Electronic Music Festival, a festival held at the City Hall is something different from the norm of having festivals outdoors and outside of the city. Being taught how to dance to qgom (African house) music by a fellow festival goer was too much fun. The Edwardian style building was electrified by lights, music and trend setting individuals. The combination of historical and contemporary was just perfect.

What frustrates you about the city?

There are misconceptions about different neighbourhoods in the city; many assumptions are made before an individual even visits the neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood in the city is unique and should be celebrated by all.


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You can have dinner with one person living or dead. Who is it and why?

My grandmother who recently passed away. To hear her voice again and enjoy some figs from her large fig tree in Somerset East. I would actually also take some figs from my small tree which has recently started fruiting.

Read other editions of ‘Voices of the city’

  1. Voices of the City: Mojisola Adegbile
  2. Voices of the City: Ibidolapo Adejuyigbe
  3. Voices of the City: Rafeeqah Galant


All images by Thozama Mputa accessed here and here