Nancy Mteki


5 - 28 August 2015

Nancy Mteki exists on the axis of self-exploration in a society that shames whilst simultaneously sexualizing and objectifying the black female form. The creation of the work draws deeply from her personal narrative and subjectivity.


“Ah honai akarambwa nemurume! Ah achadiwa nani? Mirai achazvara vamwe vana vasina ana baba.”


Using the juxtaposition of ‘masculinity’ and ‘femininity’, she sheds off each piece of clothing, debunking the gender myth and releasing herself from the yoke of oppression. Her body transcends space encountering and challenging the public gaze, revealing her vulnerability and displaying her power.


Equipped with the camera and experience of rejection, mothering and loss, she invites the audience to her reawakening. She boldly stares at you against the backdrop of domesticity rewriting history and challenging the narrative of black African female voicelessness. Each image layered with political force, freezing time and space, pushes one to reimagine ‘woman’, ‘man’ and ultimately ‘self’. 



Nancy Mteki (1989) is a Zimbabwean artist whose work draws on women and their daily experiences in society. Introduced to photography in 2008 at South African workshop Iliso Labantu (The Eye of the People) founded by Alistair Berg and Sue Johnson, her work has been exhibited widely in Harare, Bulawayo, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, London and France. In 2014, Mteki’s first solo exhibition Mbereko took place at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. 


Mteki has won awards at Dak’Art 2012, National Archives Of Zimbabwe 2010 and Gwanza Month of Photography 2009.  She recently returned from the 5th edition of the Asiko 2015 international art programme in Maputo, and previously participated in residencies and workshops in Zambia, London, Scotland and Abu Dhabi. 



Author: Tawanda Appiah

Honai series

Photo © Nancy Mteki