de Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs

15th March 2020

We congratulate Thami Mnyele Foundation alumnas Sharelly Emanuelson for winning the Public Prize with de Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs 2020!

Sharelly Emanuelson was in residence in November, December 2019 and January 2020. She was nominated for the prize by Dutch curator and write Vincent van Velsen.​


Given the evolving global situation of  the COVID-19, the program of the Thami Mnyele foundation will be reconfigured.

Adam Bellarouchia from Morocco will have to extent his stay in the residency till he is able to fly home to Morocco. In the meantime, we would like to keep things positive. Adam will make most out of his extended residency and is now working on an exhibition that is open for sale. 

As always, our commitment remains to the well-being of all our participants, contributors and partners, and we extend our shared empathy to everyone in these challenging times.

Lakin Ogunbanwo Wins the Thami Mnyele Foundation Award
at 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair Marrakech

Lakin Ogunbanwo, e wá wo mi (come look at me, 2019) Courtesy of Whatiftheworld

Working at the confluence of fashion photography and classical portraiture, young Nigerian photographer Lakin Ogunbanwo creates enigmatic portraits with an erotic and subversive undertone. His subjects exist defiantly in the frame often masked by shadow, drapery and foliage. His use of vibrant flat colour and bold compositions form a more minimalist homage to the african studio photography popular in the 1960s and 70’s.

Central to Ogunbanwo’s artistic investigation, is his desire to document the culture of Nigeria’s capital, Lagos; expand the contemporary African visual archive; and portray self-represented African narratives. He documents the complexity of his culture using veiled portraiture and fashion as a cultural signifier, and in doing so, counteracts the West’s monolithic gaze on Africa.


Born in Lagos, Nigeria in 1987, Ogunbanwo’s work has featured in the The New Yorker, New York Times, Vogue Italia, ID online, British GQ and Riposte Magazine, amongst others. His solo exhibitions include e wá wo mi  (2019), We Must Not Be Looking (2017) and Are We Good Enough (2015) at WHATIFTHEWORLD, Cape Town, he has also shown a selection of his works at the Niki Cryan Gallery in Lagos (2019). Recently, he was awarded a three-month residency in Amsterdam by the Thami Mnyele Foundation, which will take place in 2021. He has attended the MMCA Residency programmed by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. He was also commissioned to show in the window displays of Galeries Lafayette, Paris in the Africa Now exhibition (2017). His work forms part of the public collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia and the Wedge Collection in Toronto, Canada.


The chairperson of Thami Mnyele Foundation Amsterdam, Pauline Burmann, presented the award to Ashleigh McLean from WHATIFTHEWORLD Gallery South Africa, who represents the awarded aritst Lakin Ogunbanwo from Nigeria.

Lakin Ogunbanwo will be the residency in 2021 for three months in Amsterdam. 

This is also the first time the 1-54 Art Fair collaborated with a residency programme initiated by Thami Mnyele Foundation.


Temporarily closed until further notice 
Thami Mnyele Foundation alumnus Guy Woueté (Cameroon/Belgium) is having his new exhibition in Amsterdam at Vlaams Cultuurhuis de Brakke Grond. Opening is on this Saturday 7 March at 17:00.

Woueté has been living and working in Antwerp since 2011. In 2006, he won the Thami Mnyele Foundation Award and thereafter started his international activities in Europe. He went to the Rijksakademie Residency in Amsterdam in 2010 and studied at Erg academy in Brussels, where he also teaches.

Thami Mnyele Foundation alumnus Samson Kambalu (Malawi) is presenting a new exhibition "History Without A Past" together with Vicent Meesen at Mu. ZEE.

This exhibition is shown at Mu. ZEE until 17th May 2020.

As part of the celebration of 30-year Anniversary of Thami Mnyele Foundation, we have supported Thami Mnyele Foundation alumnus Abdulrazaq Awofeso (Nigeria) with his participation in the exhibition People & The Urban Reality in De Kerk of Arnhem Museum from 9th February to 17th May.

Especially for the exhibition, Abdulrazaq Awofeso makes two thousand hand-made wooden human figures that are all unique. Awofeso is a resident of Lagos, with over 20 million inhabitants the largest city in Africa and also the fastest growing metropolis on earth, who wants to evoke empathy with its wooden figures.

Thami Mnyele Foundation alumna Ina van Zyl (South Africa) presents her works at exhibition "Highlighting Skin" together with Michael Kirkham at De Ketelfactory.

The exhibition will last until 5th April 2020.…/highlighting-skin/



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Thami Mnyele Foundation is supported by Goldman Sachs Gives and AFK.

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