John Ndevasia Muafangejo

John Ndevasia Muafangejo (born 5 October 1943 in Etunda lo Nghadi, Angola; died 27 November 1987 in Katutura Township, Windhoek) was a Namibian artist who became internationally known as a maker of woodcut prints. He created linocutswoodcuts and etchings.

Muafangejo came from the people of Kwanyama (Kuanjama), who inhabit the northern parts of Ovamboland. As a child, he tended cattle barefoot. 1955 his father died, leaving his mother, who was one of eight wives, with no assets. His mother converted to Christianity and moved in 1956 to the Anglican mission station in Epinga which lay south of the border in Namibia. In 1957 John followed her there and attended the local missionary school.

At twenty Muafangejo moved to the Holy Cross School of Mission in Onamunhama, then to the St Mary's School in Odibo. He stayed there until 1967. An American missionary named C. S. Mallory supported his artistic talent and helped him with the application to the Arts and Craft Centre of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rorke's DriftNatal in South Africa. The Rorke's Drift Art and Craft Centre was founded in 1962 by the Swedish couple Ulla and Peder Gowenius and played a significant role in the development of South African art in the second half of the 20th century. Here Muafangejo came into contact with different artistic techniques, such as the weavingwoodcarving, painting and pottery. One of his teachers was Azaria Mbatha (b. 1941). He distinguished himself particularly in etching and linocut. In 1968 he suffered a nervous breakdown and was in treatment in the Madadeni Hospital in Newcastle due to a severe depression. After his release he acquired a degree from Rorke's Drift in 1969. From 1970 to the end of 1974 he worked as an art teacher at the mission school in Odibo. In 1974 he was awarded the Artist-in-residence scholarship in Rorke's Drift. In 1975 he returned to Odibo, and in 1977 moved to Windhoek. During 1986–1987 he built a house in the suburb of Katutura. He died suddenly of a heart attack on 27 November 1987.



John Ndevasia Muafangejo

Selected Works

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