Khehla Chepape Makgato was born in Kensington, Johannesburg and raised in Makotopong village, outside Polokwane in Limpopo. Chepape has a diploma equivalence for Fine Arts majoring in Printmaking from Artist Proof Studio. He is currently studying for his 3-year Diploma in Media Practice majoring in Journalism through Boston Media House, Sandton Campus, and will complete the course in 2014. Chepape was one of two South African delegates and one of three SADC regional youth delegates to the 2012 Africa Utopia Youth Arts, Cultural and Olympia Festivals of the World at the Southbank Centre in London, UK. He has participated in numerous art exhibitions both locally and internationally (Johannesburg, Polokwane, Cape Town, Washington DC and London). He has collaborated with William Kentridge on a project in January 2015. He has had two solo shows in 2013 and 2014. He has won a studio art bursary from the African Arts Trust to be a resident artist at Assemblage Studios from June 2014 to May 2015.
He worked at David Krut Art Resources from early 2010 till mid-2011, assisting in the printmaking workshop and in the bookstore / gallery. This led to participation in special printmaking projects with visiting artists. He has also worked part time at Sharon Sampson Studio as a collaborative printer, curator and studio technician from 2011 to 2013. He was a facilitator of the rural schools holiday arts programme at the Lefika La Phodiso Art Therapy Centre in 2014.
Chepape has a Media Diploma in Journalism from Boston Media House. Chepape initiated a community art organisation called Samanthole Creative Projects in 2010 which aims to provide general mentorship, art skills, encourage reading of poetry and literature, and motivate the youth in rural of Polokwane and Limpopo as a whole. From 2010 to 2014, he prepared grant proposals, developed budgets and obtained funding from private donors for arts workshops in Ga-Mothiba near Polokwane (2010), Thohoyandou in Venda (2011), Kromhoek Ga-Makgato near Bochum (2012) and Lenyenye in Tzaneen (2014). He recruited young people from the respective communities to attend, got support from the local community halls where the workshops were held, and led successful workshops including exhibitions of the resulting paintings, drawings, tie-dyed textiles and handmade books. His long-term goal is to develop a sustainable arts education centre to cater to rural youth. He has established the Rhodes Park Library Kids Book Club to encourage reading and writing in his community of Kensington. He meets with the kids twice a month were they do poetry, literature arts, debating activities he helps them with homeworks. He is a Media Digital Intern at The MediaShop. He is a contributing arts writer at ARTsouthAFRICA magazine and Mogalakwena Today newspaper.
My new body of work explore the childhood memoirs, reflections and memories of my practice as both artist and arts educator. I am using my portrait as a medium or model of portrayal to finding peace and harmony in my practice. For an instance in my new collages, which I use my old prints to develop images - sometimes abstract, I see the entire process as a psychotherapeutic/psychoanalytical process which was inspired by art workshops I attended and facilitated with Lefika La Phodiso Art Therapy Centre. I am having fun and at the same time creating art that speaks to my soul.
In the body of work titled The Rituals I am actually looking at the African cultural way viewing specific animals as the element of ritual purposes. The series is inspired by the Marikana Massacre where certain rituals are performed using goat as a tool of communication between the living and the dead. Some people believe that killing a specific goat can help them communicate with their ancestors. The exploration and experimentation is still ongoing.He is also using birds in his recent work to narrate his childhood memoirs.