@Mark_Draws Mongwa Metsi

Mark Modimola is a South African Illustrator inspired by various cultures. He delves and intertwines all of them with a respectful detail. We took some time to shed some light on what inspires him and what he’d like to achieve through it all.


Mark’s rational:  “This Is a Talisman depicting two women in ritual. The ritual is a protection and aspiration ritual focused on growing in the self as a whole.

It is also based on the African philosophy of living in flow with nature. In our (South African Sotho) culture as well as Mali , Senegal and Ethiopia the crocodile is known as “Mongwa metsi”, the owner of the water, or guardian.

Therefore all life, and therefore time is watched over by the crocodile, the timeless one. The ritual is framed by the Ngoma, which is a drum, the rhythm, and catalyst of ritual.”
We appreciate how this piece expresses the interconnected relationship of African cultures as the evidence has been left in our words, dialect and now- our art.

As Metsi means water in Sotho languages and Ngoma means song in Zulu and other Nguni languages, expressions and realizations like this can lead us to the excavation of our histories and the discovery our true collective nature.  Our Art will be our way of documenting and capturing our own stories and our own history as we make it!

What is the philosophy behind your approach?

I have heard people say that artists have the ability to see things other people do not, maybe that’s true, but i also believe we have the courage to show people what we see as well, which is important. The goal for me is to create visions that are brought to me, and bring them to life. Enlightenment. With my eyes and mind I have observed and imagined, with my hands I manifest. The cycle must continue. We must create so that others can be inspired to create.

I also believe one of the intentions of African art is to remember and so to aspire. My own channel in such a scope is to make connections, between what we are, were and could be. 

What is the most frustrating part of your creative process and how do you overcome it?

Life is a great interrupters, sometimes we need space in order to create and focus on the process, sometimes life interrupts and pulls you from that space. I find music very helpful. It sets the rhythm to my pieces. Other times it is about being aware of what you are seeing,  hearing and doing within the process, and so  immersing yourself in your craft, it takes practice.

Which African Artists from any art medium would you like to collaborate with?

Masonwabe Ntloko @The21stcenturyblackman