The Fine Art course’s vision is to be an innovative and exploratory visual art programme engaging with contemporary discourse through art practices that address entrepreneurship, technology, research and the community.  

Our mission is: 

  • To provide Higher Education within an academic environment of visual awareness, critical thinking and critical making.   
  • To equip and support the individual to be a creative and professionally competent visual practitioner and entrepreneur sensitive to community and global needs.  

The Fine Art programme focuses on producing highly versatile graduates who have the necessary technical and creative expertise to work in the Visual Arts and the wider creative industries. The purpose of this qualification is to develop the necessary conceptual and creative-technical skills required for the learners as appropriate to a visual communication professional context. It is intended to as a result provide graduate to operate in multidisciplinary visual arts setting. It is also designed to the add capacity to the qualifying students to create jobs in a formal or informal economy or respond to social relevance. The core of the learning programme anchored around the development of critical making and entrepreneurial visual art practitioners with competence to engage contemporary discourses in a creative industry. As Fine Art section in the Department of Visual Arts and Design we attract international students from Botswana, DRC, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Ukraine, amongst others. While most of our local students come from Limpopo, Free State, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West.

Programme coordinators’  details

Mr MJ Makwela is currently a senior lecturer and course coordinator in Fine Art course in the department of visual arts and design. He is a PhD in Visual Arts candidate at the Vaal University Of Technology.  He is engaged with the following teaching responsibilities and career interest:


Teaching activities: Digital imaging, digital storytelling, animation, visual design, video and film, Art Theory and Visual studies. Other responsibilities include curriculum development, among others.

Research interests: Visual arts, digital arts, animation, multimedia, film, liberation history or memory studies, in the context of African centred perspective.

Supervision interests: Animation studies, film and memory/history, Afrocentric/postcolonial studies, IKS and Visual studies, art and technology.

Community engagement: Training and skills transfer, mentor and directed idea generation in visual creative projects.

Creative projects: moving pictures (animation, film, music video, promotional video), cartoons

Ms MP Thibudi is currently busy with the PhD proposal:


Teaching activities: Matshepo teaches drawing 1-4, Art theory 1, Art management 3 as well as Art Theory 4.

Research interests: are in using positive imagery to represent black people through portraiture in a practice-based research. She uses black feminism as her critical theory. She is currently exploring multi or inter disciplinary study which integrates art and business.

Supervision interests: Her interests are in the black study and practice-based research.

Ms Nkululeko Khumalo teaches various practical and theoretical subjects in Printmaking/ Surface Printing and Multimedia at undergraduate level, and supervises M-level studies. She is extremely passionate about art education and she does not believe in teaching only happening within the four walls of the university, but all around us and happens every day.


Ms Khumalo completed her MA in Fine Art through Wits University in 2017 and has more than fifteen years teaching experience. She was also in charge of the Bodutu Art Gallery where she has curated numerous art exhibitions.

Teaching activities: Nkululeko currently teaches from First years to MTech students in Surface Printing/Printmaking.  Art Management 2 and Product Design 3.

Undergrad                                           Advance Diploma                   Postgrad

First Year –Third Years Surface            Surface Printing 4                    Surface Printing 5

Art Management 2                              Written Component                 MTech / MA Students

Product Design 3


Nkululeko is a qualified assessor and moderator. She is also does external examinations with other institutions if requested.

Research interests Ms Khumalo is primarily involved with curatorial and creative practice research in archives of the art, documentary photography and the lived experience of the Vaal Region. She is particularly interested in these experiences and oral histories that need to be preserved and how black people need to start writing about their own histories and capture it in a way they would like it to be presented. The black stories are still missing in the noteworthy literature and can be preserved through writing. The Vaal region holds a very rich history in terms of politics and is also a hub of many other cultural and religious activities. There is a huge gap of prominent black women who played a significant role within the Vaal. This history is still missing in the various archives and literature.

Ms Khumalo is also interested in video documentary and mapping as part of her curatorial practices and the history of South African Vaal stories and histories.

Supervision interests: Ms Khumalo is interested in supervising research projects that explore problems arising from and within creative practices. She is also particularly interested in projects that develop interaction and connections between communities and creative professions, such as photography/multimedia and documentary. She is also developing studies that explore the Creative output and Creative Based research in terms of various practices of students.

Community Engagement

Ms Khumalo has also participated in numerous Community Engagement Projects at schools that include Meadowlands School in Soweto, Matlasedi Primary School in Kagiso, Ratanda Primary School in Heidelberg, Rust-Ter-Vaal Primary, Fukama Primary School in Zone 12 Sebokeng, Lundelwazi High School, Thabo Vuyo Resource Centre school for the Disabled learners, Kwa-Thema Skills School and Tshepana Primary School, Ramosokula High School amongst othersShe also participated in the Netherlands, VUT and Municipality community engagement, renovation project. Ms Khumalo also coordinated a painting project for the Dhlomo Dam in Sharpeville to try to bring young children to start using the park by brightening the environment through the use of vibrant colours.

Nkululeko has been an adjudicator for Rotary art competition, and for the Thami Mnyele Art Competition.  Nkululeko has also been part of the VUT Gender Based Violence Committee.

She has just joined to be part of NPO for the Len Khumalo Foundation which is based in the Sedibeng region.

She has also worked in empowering women during the Women’s month and making them feel appreciated by spoiling them in various ways. She also runs a grocery feeding scheme for disadvantage people within her church and surrounding areas.  She believes that no one is an island, we are who we are through our culture of Ubuntu.

Creative projects: Nkululeko loves curatorial projects that focuses on educational output. She engages in archives, photo restoration, documentary as part of her creative output. She also has been instrumental in bringing Len Khumalo’s (her dad) and other photographic work on untold stories of photojournalists, photographers and journalists. Her MA brought light to the rich history of the Vaal that she is still trying to bring into noteworthy literature for our children to learn from.

Zanele Lucia Radebe is a Lecturer in Fine Art and a co-ordinator for 1st year Fine Art students, in the Visual Arts and Design Department.


Teaching activities: 3 Dimensional Studies: Ceramics (1st year), Product Design and Tech (1st & 2nd year), and Art Theory & Visual Studies (1st & 2nd year).

Research interests: Her research interests lie in the fields of gender studies and cultural studies mainly on black women in visual arts or cultural industry and related fields of study. Radebe received her M-Tech in Fine Art at Vaal University of Technology (2019). Her M Tech research project deals with an exploration of black women’s diverse hairstyles through art. She also co-authored an article titled: Exploring alternative views on the Western miniskirt and isigcebhezana in the patriarchal Zulu culture of South Africa, Gender and Behaviour, Volume 14 Number 3, Dec 2016, p. 7733 – 7763.

Supervision interests: She is interested in supervising students with interests in feminist art studies, visual studies and cultural studies in visual arts and related field of study.

Community engagement: Radebe has participated in arts community engagement projects at Thabo Vuyo Resource Centre, Kwa-Thema Skills School, Tshepana Primary School amongst others.

Creative projects: Practice based research on the theme one size fits all: miniskirts paper doll drawings. Her practice based research involves writing about the arts and the making of both two- and three-dimensional artistic work

Lebohang Radebe is a Fine art Junior lecturer and currently pursuing a Masters degree in Fine art.  Her fields of interests are as follows:


Teaching activities:  Lebohang lectures three-dimensional studies in sculpture and Art management in the Fine art section and is also the first year Fine art coordinator. Her other practical fields teaching experience include Printmaking and multimedia.  She has also taught communication skills and English as a foreign language to adults with a TEFL certificate obtained from UNISA.

Research interests: Her research field includes Indigenous knowledge systems, cultural and traditional practices in Africa in the context of visual arts and related fields.

Supervision interests:  Indigenous knowledge systems and cultural studies in visual arts and related fields.

Community engagement: She is part of an NGO which is based in the Emfuleni region.  She renders volunteer work which includes grooming young children who have artistic skills and showing interest in the field of art.

Creative projects: Lebohang has taken part in the 2013 Thami Mnyele Awards obtaining a certificate in the Sculpture category. She has also taken part as production manager and continuity personnel in various films which have been screened on local South African channels.  She has also taken part as a researcher in the filming of The Boipatong Massacre and Thokoza shooting documentaries.

Velaphi enjoys spending time with family, exploring the outdoors, gardening, traveling, reading and watching documentaries when he is not busy with any of the following:


Teaching activities: My aim is to help students understand their role as artists in society. I encourage them use their personal experiences, discover themselves, ask what is important and foster in them an excitement and enthusiasm to pursue their own answers.

Research interests: Art and Education, ethnicity and identity, the theory and practice of art/practice led/practice based research

Supervision interests: Art and Education, ethnicity and identity, the theory and practice of art/practice led/practice based research

Community engagement: Working with different communities on art-based projects, teaching art to schools not offering the subject.

Ms. Shintshile Ngcobo
Technician (Fine Art)