Lhola Amira was born in 1984 in Gugulethu, South Africa and currently lives and works in Cape Town. The artist Lhola Amira was borne from the body of curator and academic Khanyisile Mbongwa, both womxn share a plural existence, co-habiting as split selves. In essence, Lhola Amira highlights new manifestations of inequality. Her practice speaks of the survival of black individuals, in particular black womxn, in a world dominated by white men. Khanyisile Mbongwa was a founding member of both, the artist collective Gugulective, and Vasiki Creative Citizens and is currently completing a Inter- disciplinary Masters Degree in Performance Art, Public Art and Public Spheres at the University of Cape Town in affiliation with the Institute of Creative Arts (ICA).
Lhola Amira recently made an Appearance at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA) in a programme of performative and visual arts curated by Jay Pather. Her Looking for Ghana & The Red Suitcase short film was screened at the Chale Wote Street Art Festival in 2017 in Accra, Ghana. She was awarded the AiRS (Artist in Residence Skövde Art Museum) residency in Skövde, in 2017. Earlier residencies include participation at the Jiwar Creation and Society in Barcelona, Spain in 2015, and at Vasl Artists’ Collective in Islamabad, Pakistan in 2010. Lhola Amira has made numerous solo appearances both locally and abroad; Lhola Amira Looking for Ghana in Accra at The Studio Accra, and Lhola Amira Looking for Ghana in Jamestown at Brazil House, both in Ghana in 2016.
Notable earlier appearances include, Lhola Amira Will Make You Cry in Cape Town, South Africa at the AVA in 2016, and Lhola Amira: Acknowledgments, Distinctions and Being as well as De/Colonial Love, all at MITTE-Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain in 2015. Lhola Amira’s recent group exhibitions include, Lhola Amira in Conversation with Rinamanyanga Hariputirwe at Instruments of Memory -a solo exhibition by Masimba Hwati- and As Long as the World is Anti- Black; Of Course this is Personal at group exhibition Nothing Personal, both at SMAC Gallery in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in 2016, as well as Lhola Amira neZambatho ezoMoya at DETAILS at 6ix Studio, New York City, USA in 2014. The artist presented her first solo show at SMAC in Stellenbosch titled Looking for Ghana & The Red Suitcase in early 2017. In Addition Lhola Amira made three appearances in Bloemfontein entitled 29 ̊06’S 26 ̊13’E as part of her newest project. She has been selected by guest curator, Nontobeko Ntombela, to present a solo project as part of the curated section at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair in February 2018.
Lhola Amira’s work forms part of multiple local and international collections, including: the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (MOCAA), in Cape Town South Africa; the Tiroche DeLeon Collection, Gibraltar; the Skövde Art Museum, Skövde, Sweden; the Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town, South Africa; and the Robert Devereux collection.