The Art & Legacy of George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba

The GFI Art Gallery passionately believes that the viewing and creating of the visual arts will always be one of the cornerstones of the worlds’ cultures.

GEORGE MILWA MNYALUZA PEMBA is one of South Africa’s great influential artists to have contributed to these foundations and it is our pleasure and honour to celebrate his art and his legacy in his birthplace, the City of Gqeberha, along with our community, who is sensitively depicted throughout his body of work.

The exhibition includes 26 original paintings on loan from the Nelson Mandela Art Museum, William Humphreys Art Gallery as well as Private Owners.


George Pemba led a humble life, a man of few words, driven by his passion and desire to paint the day to day lives and reality of his people both in rural and township settings. He once said, “I do not know if ever I will become a great artist, but an artist of my own nation I surely am to be”. We can all agree that he was not only an artist of his own nation but went on to become a great artist that is recognized and revered around the World.

UMBHIYOZO, represents a celebration of a man from humble beginnings who was driven by a discipline, commitment, passion, and a love of his craft which he pursued daily with utmost dedication from a young age and was able to reach the pinnacle of his career.

UMBHIYOZO brings us all together as South Africans to commemorate the legacy of George Milwa Mnyaluza Pemba whose singular mission was to depict the lives of ordinary South Africans as they went about their daily pursuits. Sarah Hudleston aptly remarked: “Pemba has left an incredible legacy to South Africa, recording events and its people, particularly from the 1940’s when he toured South Africa, recording the changing scenes and cultural trappings of its people. He recorded the history of this country and rightfully deserves to be called ‘The Painter of the People”. – Excerpt from “Against All Odds – George Pemba: His Life and works”.


This exhibition would not have been possible without the support of our key sponsor INVESTEC. Who likewise are fervent supporters of South African artists and the importance of their impact on our everyday lives. In addition, we have been privileged to cultivate partnerships with other institutions that hold the same passion and love for art. The George Pemba Art Foundation, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum; Mendi Art Centre and Nelson Mandela University, without whom, this venture would not have had the same impact and reach. With this notable exhibition the GFI Art Gallery will continue to “Enable, Express, and Enhance” our community through the passionate promotion of visual arts in the Eastern Cape and beyond.