Born 1996 in Botshabelo, South Africa
Lives and works in Bloemfontein, South Africa
Theku completed his Advanced Diploma (Graphic Design) at the Central University of Technology, Bloemfontein in 2020. Since, Theku has participated in several Group Exhibitions across South Africa including at the Oliewenhuis Art Museum, Gallery 2, Ark Contemporary and MM Art House.
His work is influenced by his own lived experience as a fatherless boy, and he draws upon memory to reflect on past ignored emotional states by exploring themes concerned with mental health among young black male adults. His photography, film, and performance works contemplate conflicting societal influences which informs black male identity. Theku’s opus represents the flickering moment of hope, by the acknowledgment of a legacy of psychological grief and a generational curse.
Theku uses a personal diction of ritual and symbols in which his physical form becomes a signifier. His use of his own body is a significant shift away from the problematic depiction of the other and is a gesture of self-actualization and acknowledgment of subjective experience.
Theku was awarded Overall Winner of the 'New Breed Art Competition' in 2019, and in 2021 Theku was included in the Art Bank of South Africa Commission Program, as well as a 'Sasol New Signature' Finalist. During 2022 Theku was also a finalist for both the 'Blessing Ngobeni Art Prize' and the 'ABSA L’Atelier' Award.