Mr Shumani Sidogi from Haluvhimbi village outside Thohoyandou is one of the local artists whose artworks are seemingly better known in international art circles than at home.
Sidogi was born 38 years ago at Baragwanath Hospital in Johannesburg. Even at a very young age, he realised that he wanted to be an artist. His mother, Ms Flora Sidogi, was already a well-known artist in the Haluvhimbi area.
He began his schooling at Tshivhilwi Primary School before moving on to the local Bababa Secondary School, where he matriculated in 2007. While at Bababa, Sidogi continued to excel in art. His teachers encouraged him to pursue this evident gift as a career.
After passing Grade 12, Sidogi volunteered to teach art at a local school, Masikhwa Primary. He later joined the world-acclaimed artist, Mr Avhashoni Mainganye, who mentored him for four years before he migrated to Johannesburg in search of greener pastures. While in Johannesburg, Sidogi was fortunate to be one of the few artists given a platform to display their artworks at international exhibitions.
He mentioned that some of his artworks were displayed in many countries, including France, the USA, Belgium, Germany, and China. He returned home at the beginning of 2020, shortly after the outbreak of Covid-19 in the country, and has not gone back since.
When asked how he marketed his artworks from his remote area, Sidogi said that life had not been easy for him at first. He mentioned that most of his clients are international tourists. The father of one daughter revealed that he now receives no fewer than 50 international tourists at his home every month. Some of Sidogi’s artworks are displayed at Thavhani Mall in Thohoyandou.